It's week two along our journey to 44 player reviews covering each and every player that graced NatsTown's presence this past season. We will continue to tweak the process based on your comments, so keep those going.
Chien-Ming Wang – Age 31 – 6 Years MLB service
How He Became A Nat: Re-signed with the Nats for 1 year, 1 million dollars, with sizeable performance based bonuses.
The Raw Numbers:
IP – 62.1
ERA – 4.04
WHIP – 1.28
GB/FB - 1.12
Key Stat: 0. As in games missed once he made his season debut July 29. Good or bad, he went out every time it was his turn and showed no sign of setbacks. This is a huge sign moving forward for his career as well as the Nats rotation.
Best Game: Easily August 9th against the Cubbies at Wrigley. Wang went 6 shutout innings, allowing a single hit while walking 2 and hitting another. He induced 12 ground balls including a double play. Tempting as it may be to pick his final game of the season, his first MLB hit and RBI are not enough to overcome a solo shot given up and a 9/8 GB/FB ratio.
Worst Game: Understandably, his first game back in the Major Leagues in 2 years, July 29th against the Mets. In just 4 innings, Wang used 60 pitches to give up 6 runs (4 earned) on 8 hits and a walk. His GB/FB was 8/9. It was a tough spot and no one really expected a quality start, so it was basically a throw away game.
CapBall Grade: B-. Wang completed an exhausting and inspiring rehab by making 11 starts for the Nationals this year, compiling a record of 4-3. Besides being an accomplished veteran with incredible natural ball movement, he earns some extra credit for peripherals. Penetration into the baseball hungry Taiwanese market could be very lucrative for the Nationals.
2012 Nats Status: The Nats patience over the past 2 years could payoff in a big way. Wang seems to be wide open to giving the Nats a “hometown” discount of sorts for their handling of his situation. With the off-season and a full spring training, Wang could return to his once dominant form. And despite the lengthy rehab, he has only thrown 733 innings for his career, and as a sinker-baller, might have a better chance at returning to a high level. I see the Nats and Wang signing a deal, before the winter meetings. Wang will head to Viera as the presumptive 3rd or 4th starter.