After missing the first six weeks of the season with a hamstring injury Chien-Ming Wang will come off the disabled list tonight, according to Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com.
Wang volunteered for relief duty if the Nationals felt he was a better fit there and indeed they’ve opted to stick with Ross Detwiler as their fifth starter. Wang has never been a full-time reliever, making just five of his 120 career appearances out of the bullpen, and he seems likely to be used in low-leverage situations.
To make room on the roster and in the bullpen for Wang the Nationals will place reliever Ryan Mattheus on the DL with plantar fasciitis in his left foot, which has apparently been bothering him for weeks despite a 2.25 ERA in 20 innings this season.
Mattheus told Zuckerman that he’s hoping to return after the minimum 15-day DL stint and by then the Nationals should have a much clearer idea of whether Wang can contribute as a reliever.
It used to be that the top dog in a team’s baseball operations department was the general manager. That has changed over the past several years with some combination of title inflation, a genuine addition of supervisory layers and, on some level, employe poaching insurance leading to the top dog now being called, usually, a “president of baseball operations.”
Brewers’ general manager David Stearns is the latest to assume that tile, as the club just announced that he has been promoted to Milwaukee’s president of baseball operations. He has also received a contract extension of unknown length.
Not a big shock given how well the Brewers did in 2018, winning the NL Central title and playing in the NLCS. It’s also worth noting — with a nod to that “employee poaching insurance” item above — that Stearns has drawn some interest from other organizations. It’s thus not unfair to see the promotion is both a thanks for a job well done and a means of keeping other teams’ hands off of him, as employees are generally not given permission to interview for lateral moves, but are given permission to interview for promotions.
The Mudville Nine may have wanted to steal him from Milwaukee, but for Stearns to get a promotion from where he is now would require the creation of some other lofty title.