Chien-Ming Wang clocked at 85-87 mph in instructional league

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Chien-Ming Wang didn’t end up pitching for the Nationals after signing a one-year, $2 million deal that included various incentives, but he’s finally recovered enough from shoulder surgery to take the mound in an instructional league game today.
Wang faced four batters and Ben Goessling of MASNSports.com reports that his fastball was clocked at 85-87 miles per hour, which actually isn’t bad for a guy who hasn’t started a big-league game since July of 2009. Prior to going under the knife Wang averaged 91-92 mph with his fastball.
Because his one-year deal didn’t include a team option for next season Wang will soon be a free agent and Goessling reports that the Nationals “are waiting to see how he progresses through the fall” before deciding whether or not to pursue bringing him back in 2011.

The Giants might be ready to part ways with Hunter Pence

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Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area hints that the Giants may be done with outfielder Hunter Pence. It’s not clear just how seriously the club is contemplating such a decision, but there are six days remaining on Pence’s rehab assignment, at which point they’ll be able to recall him, reassign him to the minors or release him.

The 35-year-old outfielder has struggled to make a full recovery after spraining his right thumb during the first week of the season. Pence bounced back for a 17-game run with the Giants in April, during which he slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 with one double and one stolen base in 61 plate appearances, but was eventually placed on the disabled list with recurring soreness in his finger. He currently sports a promising .318/.359/.388 batting line with four extra-base hits (including a grand slam) over 92 PA in Triple-A Sacramento.

Despite his recent resurgence in Triple-A, the Giants may not need the additional outfield depth just yet. Mac Williamson, who was recalled in the wake of Pence’s DL assignment, has already cemented the starting role in left field and is off to a strong start at the plate as well. Of course, if the Giants decide to say a premature goodbye to their veteran outfielder (who, it should be said, helped them to two World Series championships over the last seven seasons), it’ll cost them the remaining balance on his $18.5 million salary for 2018.