According to Bill Ladson of MLB.com, Chien-Ming Wang threw his first bullpen session of the spring on Monday.
Wang, who is currently rehabbing from shoulder surgery, threw 10 pitches on flat ground and then 15 pitches from the mound. Nationals pitching coach Steve McCatty was satisfied with what he saw:
“I was happy with what he did,” McCatty said. “He felt good and the ball
has that sink to it. It was very good to see. The arm slot looked good.
He was free and easy with the ball.”
Wang was signed to an incentive-laden one-year, $2 million contract with the Nationals in February, although he isn’t expected to be ready to pitch in the majors until at least May.
It’s not much of a stretch to imagine a rotation of Wang, Stephen Strasburg, John Lannan, Jason Marquis and Jordan Zimmermann in Washington by September. In other words, look out, the Nationals could resemble a real, competitive baseball team real soon.
Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.
The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.
The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.