Nationals right-handed pitcher Chien-Ming Wang will make his fourth rehab start Wednesday for the Single-A Potomac Nationals against the Kinston Indians at 7:05 p.m. in Woodbridge, Va.
Wang has looked very good so far as he recovers from right shoulder surgery in July 2009. Wang has gone 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA in 12 innings, allowing two earned runs and two walks and striking out seven batters. He has not allowed a run in his last nine innings of work.
He last pitched for the New York Yankees in 2009, with nine starts and 12 games, going 1-6 with a 9.64 ERA. Wang won 19 games in 2006 and 2007 and pitched in the American League Division Series three straight seasons from 2005 to 2007.
They have progressed Wang from three to four and then to five innings in each start this summer at Single-A Hagerstown, Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg. Because the Senators are on their All-Star break, his next start will be back with Potomac. Wang could either go five innings again,or extend to six innings this start.
Looking ahead, if Wang has no setbacks tomorrow and continues as he has shown so far, he could make his next rehab start July 18 for Triple-A Syracuse at home against Buffalo. The Chiefs are at Scranton-Wilkes Barre July 23. The Nationals must make a decision on Wang by July 27, when his 30-day rehab assignment expires.
And fast forwarding to late August and September, the Nationals could slot Wang as a replacement for Jordan Zimmermann once he gets to his mandated innings cap in his first full season following Tommy John surgery.
Watching Yankees star Robinson Cano win the 2011 Home Run Derby with his father, former Houston Astros pitcher Jose Cano throwing him pitches, reminded me of a conversation I had with Nationals No. 1 prospect Bryce Harper almost two years ago.
I asked Harper who was his favorite player in the major leagues. Harper told me he admired Cano and his perfect swing. Then, I thought about a Home Run Derby in the future with Harper winning the event with his dad, Ron, throwing pitches to him. Maybe the game could be at Nationals Park?