Just got back up from the clubhouse. Joe Girardi, pitching coach Dave Eiland and Chien-Ming Wang all confirmed that Wang isn’t injured. He’s just struggling.
Giving up 23 earned runs in six innings over three starts is beyond struggling, of course. It’s reason to consider a demotion. That, though, is not possible according to Girardi. A team cannot send a player to the minors unless they have options or the player agrees and has at least five years of service. Wang has no options and hasn’t been in the majors long enough.
Girardi did say that the Yankees will consider skipping Wang’s next start, which is scheduled to be Friday in Boston. The day off on Thursday would enable that.
Amazingly, all three were rather optimistic Wang would find his way out of this inexplicable rut. Eiland even had a couple of veins popping out of his neck when he repeated “he will be fine” for the third time during a five-minute interview session.
What was most shocking was Eiland saying: “He actually threw the ball better today.”
Wang doesn’t speak English well, so his barely-audible interview was filled with nods and two-word responses. He chalked up the start of that inning to the weak grounder Travis Hafner hit on a good sinker.
“Mostly, I kept my sinker down,” Wang said through a translator. “When I left it up, they hit them hard.
“I’ll just have to keep working. That’s all I can do.”