Chien-Ming Wang will rise to Triple-A Syracuse next week

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Nationals right-hander Chien-Ming Wang is inching closer and closer to returning to the major leagues.

According to MLB.com’s Bill Ladson, Wang will be promoted to Triple-A Syracuse early next week and will make his fifth minor league rehab start Tuesday night against the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate.

Wang has surrendered just 13 hits and two earned runs in 18 minor league rehab innings thus far, striking out eight batters and issuing only two walks. If the progress continues, he could join the Nationals’ starting rotation by the end of this month.

Wang, a 31-year-old native of Taiwan, hasn’t appeared in a major league game since 2009, when he posted a 9.64 ERA in 42 innings with the Yankees. He won 38 games and maintained a 3.67 ERA from 2006-2007.

Blake Wood has a damaged UCL

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Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports that Angels reliever Blake Wood underwent an MRI and was diagnosed with a damaged ulnar collateral ligament. Wood will seek further opinions before a course of treatment is decided. Tommy John surgery is a possibility.

Wood, 32, had been on a rehab assignment with High-A Inland Empire and has been on the disabled list since April 22. Prior to the injury, Wood compiled a 2.31 ERA with a 10/7 K/BB ratio in 11 2/3 innings.

Keynan Middleton recently underwent Tommy John surgery to repair a damaged UCL, so it’s not been a great time to be a member of the Angels’ bullpen.