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#pounditMonday, June 27, 2022

A Baserunning Blunder Between Chien-Ming Wang and the Hall

OK, so maybe the Wanger wasn’t exactly headed for Cooperstown (settle down NY media, you don’t have that much influence) but it’s incredible how easily players can rise and fall in baseball — particularly pitchers. Yankees starter Chien-Ming Wang was 54-20 his first three and a half seasons in the bigs, posting under a 4.00 ERA. Sure the record was deceiving because he was supported by the mighty Yankee offense, but a sub-4.00 ERA in the AL East is good. Now looking at the guy you wonder if he’ll ever bounce back.

It all started a Sunday in June last year where Wang injured his foot running the bases during interleague play. What appeared to be something harmless turned out to keep him out the entire season — an 8-2 year down the drain. This year Wang had a miserable start to the season, posting a laughable 34.50 ERA after his first three outings. Even after returning from a DL stint he still wasn’t effective, though he did lower his season ERA to 9.64. The capper finally came on Tuesday night when it was announced Wang would have season-ending shoulder surgery.

While Wang will likely be back next year, there’s serious doubt that he’ll ever get back to his 19-win form. Keep it in mind: for every Johan Santana and C.C. Sabathia out there, there are five so-called one-hit wonders that flame out because of injury or true lack of stuff. Wang was second in Cy Young voting three years ago. Brandon Webb and Jake Peavy aren’t even thought of anymore. Knowing all this and the Phillies still want to keep Kyle Drabek and J.A. Happ instead of going with a reliable, consistent starter like Roy Halladay? They’re nuts.


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