• Wang’s Agent Confident Of A Good Deal

    Posted by on January 25th, 2010 · Comments (13)

    Via Ken Rosenthal

    Chien-Ming Wang, coming off shoulder surgery on July 29, is expected to throw off a mound in the next week or two, according to one of his agents, Alan Nero.

    “Everything is going extraordinarily well,” Nero said.

    Six teams are evaluating Wang’s medical records, Nero said. Wang, who turns 30 on March 31, is training at Fischer Sports in Phoenix.

    “We’re anticipating a major-league offer with a substantial guarantee and substantial upside,” Nero said.

    “We’re so confident with what is going to happen, if we don’t do it until May, we’re OK. Whoever shows the initiative to take a little bit of risk is going to win.”

    Chien-Ming is a solid citizen. So, whomever signs him is not going to get a dog or a nut job. But, for Wang, it all depends on whether or not the MPH is there on the sinker. If it is, and if his arm can make 30 starts, he’ll be a decent pitcher. But, if he wants to be a 19-game winner again, and have nice numbers, he better sign with a club that has high grass in the infield and outfield fences that are somewhat deep. Safeco Field or Busch Stadium would be a nice fit for him.

    Comments on Wang’s Agent Confident Of A Good Deal

    1. Corey
      January 25th, 2010 | 10:31 pm

      I really hope the Yankees sign him…seriously.

    2. 77yankees
      January 25th, 2010 | 11:45 pm

      Watch – He’ll go to St. Louis, Dave Duncan will sprinkle the magic dust on him, and Wang will go 13-5 in 25 starts and face the Yanks in Game 4 of the 2010 World Series………………….

      As long as CMW manages not to run the bases.

    3. jrk
      January 25th, 2010 | 11:53 pm

      I have two conflicting thoughts: First, I want the Yankees to sign him, hoping that he can return and be a serviceable starter. But in all reality, I have my doubts on whether he can return to form – not only have the injuries screwed up his mechanics, but a drop in velocity completely ruins his effectiveness. I’m sad to say this but I think he will struggle wherever he ends up. And to be completely schizophrenic, I’ll repeat – I still hope the Yanks sign him, for the 5-10% of me that thinks he can regain form.

    4. Corey
      January 26th, 2010 | 9:17 am

      77yankees wrote:

      Watch – He’ll go to St. Louis, Dave Duncan will sprinkle the magic dust on him, and Wang will go 13-5 in 25 starts and face the Yanks in Game 4 of the 2010 World Series………………….

      I don’t think he needs magic dust, just a healthy body.

    5. YankCrank
      January 26th, 2010 | 10:44 am

      Corey wrote:

      I don’t think he needs magic dust, just a healthy body.

      There were some strong indications that Wang had some issues before his injuries. Every year from ’06-’08 his ground ball rate dropped and line drive rate increased, and at the same time his walk rate was rising pretty rapidly.

      I guess it didn’t mean much at the time because he was still winning games, but at the present moment I understand the Yankees decision. Here’s a guy who had some red flags before his injuries, and then had a major shoulder surgery meaning he may never be the same pitcher again. You don’t give those guys guaranteed contracts.

      That’s not to say the Yanks won’t see what he has and offers him $ to come back, but right now i’m ok with letting Wang walk. I wish him all the best.

    6. Corey
      January 26th, 2010 | 10:48 am

      YankCrank wrote:

      There were some strong indications that Wang had some issues before his injuries. Every year from ‘06-’08 his ground ball rate dropped and line drive rate increased, and at the same time his walk rate was rising pretty rapidly.

      I’m sorry, but let’s not have revisionist history here. We know what the issue with this was, he started working on a slider and started mixing up his pitches more and not relying as heavily on the sinker. You know this, you saw it.

    7. YankCrank
      January 26th, 2010 | 11:06 am

      Corey wrote:

      YankCrank wrote:

      There were some strong indications that Wang had some issues before his injuries. Every year from ‘06-’08 his ground ball rate dropped and line drive rate increased, and at the same time his walk rate was rising pretty rapidly.

      I’m sorry, but let’s not have revisionist history here. We know what the issue with this was, he started working on a slider and started mixing up his pitches more and not relying as heavily on the sinker. You know this, you saw it.

      And how does this justify his increasing walk rate?

      Also, I understand your point about him mixing in other pitchers than the sinker, but his line drive rate increased and hitters were hitting the ball harder off him every year. So he started relying less on the sinker, that isn’t a reason to make the Yankees feel any better than he was getting hit harder.

      If Wang can pitch in ’10, hitters will continue to lay off the sinker and hit that slider. How is that a good thing?

    8. Corey
      January 26th, 2010 | 11:15 am

      YankCrank wrote:

      And how does this justify his increasing walk rate?

      If you recall, he did not have good command of his slider when he first started hurling it. By the time right before his foot injury, however, he seemed to have mastered it. That was the best I had ever seen Wang throw, although he did have a couple of bad starts toward the end.
      ===========
      If Wang can pitch in ‘10, hitters will continue to lay off the sinker and hit that slider. How is that a good thing?
      ===========
      Well that’s what pitching is, no? keeping the hitter off balance. That’s stuff that can be figured out in the pre-start planning.

    9. MJ
      January 26th, 2010 | 12:03 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      But, for Wang, it all depends on whether or not the MPH is there on the sinker.

      I’m not 100% sure that’s correct. According to three different PitchFX sites, Wang’s pitch velocity readings for his sinker were:

      2007: 91.4
      2008: 89.9
      2009: 90.9

      Given that 2009 was much worse than 2008, I’m not sure I buy the argument that it was merely a velocity issue on his sinker. I think the reason for Wang’s sudden collapse boils down to the following factors:

      1) Mechanics. I’m not a pitching coach, nor did I pitch in high school or college. To be honest, I’m just taking a stab in the dark here but in looking at his release points for 2008 and 2009, I noticed that he was releasing the ball higher (between 6 and 7 feet) and starting the ball closer to the center of the strikezone (between 0.5 and 2 feet to the left of center) than he was the previous year (5.5-6.5 high / 1-3.5 left). It’s a subtle but noticeable difference in release points from 2008 to 2009 that might have changed the movement and trajectory of his pitches in any number of ways.

      2) Erosion of secondary pitches. The quality of Wang’s slider – the second most important pitch in his arsenal, after the sinker – has eroded greatly from 2007 to 2009. According to FanGraphs, Wang’s slider was worth 10.4 runs above average in 2007 and saw that value decline to 3.8 and 0.4 in 2008 and 2009, respectively. Additionally, Pitch FX data shows that the trajectory of his slider in 2007 was 1.5 horizontal / 1.2 vertical and by 2009 had become 0.1 / 0.2. It seems like the slider that didn’t start out with a lot of break in 2007 had become essentially flat in 2009.

      Perhaps good health will give him both greater velocity and a return to his previous mechanics which, in turn, will improve the quality of his secondary pitches and make him a more complete pitcher. As Corey said, I think it all starts with health and I’m not certain that his problems were strictly velocity-based.

    10. YankCrank
      January 26th, 2010 | 12:05 pm

      Corey wrote:

      If you recall, he did not have good command of his slider when he first started hurling it. By the time right before his foot injury, however, he seemed to have mastered it. That was the best I had ever seen Wang throw, although he did have a couple of bad starts toward the end.

      I’ll be honest, I don’t remember how he was throwing before he hurt himself in Houston. I do remember that he had around 9 wins at the time though, which means no matter what was going on he was still winning.

      I also want to be clear. I’m not arguing against the Yankees signing him. If he has a good throwing session and he shows that he can be what he once was, I hope he comes back as well. I was only saying that I understand why the Yankees didn’t offer him a guaranteed contract earlier this winter. I’ve always been a Wanger fan and hopes he’ll be successful again, no matter where he pitches.

    11. Corey
      January 26th, 2010 | 12:55 pm

      YankCrank wrote:

      I’ll be honest, I don’t remember how he was throwing before he hurt himself in Houston.

      I’ll tell you what, there was never a time where I was more excited about Wang then right before he got hurt. He seemed to really be putting it together (aside from the clunkers), and his balls were diving every which way between the sinker and slider. It was art.

    12. GDH
      January 26th, 2010 | 3:59 pm

      I saw Wang pitch two or three games before the injury in Oakland, on Matsui’s birthday, the day he hit a grand slam which turned out to be the winning hit. Wang looked pretty good to me in that game. He got a couple dp’s and kept the game close.

    13. MJ
      January 26th, 2010 | 4:21 pm

      GDH wrote:

      I saw Wang pitch two or three games before the injury in Oakland

      Wasn’t the injury in Houston?

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