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Nationals uncertain about Chien-Ming Wang's debut

The Nationals know that Chien-Ming Wang will throw live batting practice in Viera, Fla., on Friday, when he will fire 45 pitches from a mound in his second such session of rehab from shoulder surgery. Anything beyond that, they remain as uncertain as they have been all along in regard to Wang's status.

The Nationals originally hoped Wang would make his 2010 debut in mid-June. While he has not experienced any setbacks, the Nationals have not been able to target a return date because of the unique nature of his injury, General Manager Mike Rizzo said. Wang suffered a shoulder dislocation more typical for a football player, Rizzo said, similar to the injury Drew Brees overcame.

"It's a little difficult to pinpoint a true rehab schedule for a baseball player," Rizzo said. "We have that issue. He doesn't have any pain. It's just such a unique surgery that he had that any kind of rehab calendar would have been hard to get. There's not much experience with this injury."

The Nationals are not even certain of Wang's upcoming rehab schedule, let alone when he may return. Last week, Wang's representative said Wang was hoping to debut by early August. Rizzo, though, said it's not possible to know exactly.

"It changes day by day," Rizzo said. "It's all about how you feel the next day. You move forward, you stay the same or you regress. So far he's stayed the same and inched forward. We're hoping he can stay on that pace."

Rizzo still expects Wang to pitch in the majors for the Nationals this season. That will be important for Wang's future with the team. The Nationals signed Wang to a one-year contract, and they have the option to offer him arbitration for next season. One of the reasons they signed him after such serious surgery was in the hopes of getting a healthy Wang in 2011.

"We'd like to see him perform in the major leagues," Rizzo said.

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 30, 2010; 6:21 PM ET
Categories:  Chien-Ming Wang  
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Next: Mike Rizzo looks ahead to July


A healthy Wang is a good Wang

Posted by: theredskin | June 30, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

45 pitches sounds like it might be too much. Why not 30? They seriously need to keep an eye on him because they've been trying to sell him too early. They could put him out permanently like what happened to Cordero. Your whole arm collapses. If he misses the season, then that's just the way it will have to be. Face reality - you need at least a year. A year and a half to be effective. It's the same time frame as Tommy John.

Posted by: Brue | June 30, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

C-M Wang is under contract control through 2011. If he doesn't appear until September, the so be it. It's certainly a reset on expectations, but if the team can see progress, that makes the ML side of the operation a stronger looking forward.

Posted by: BinM | June 30, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

According to the reporters in Viera reporting Wang :

He already threw 2 BPs,
1 June 22 20 pitches All fastball
(before BP, he threw 40 pitches in the bullpen)
2. June 27 40 pitches fastball + changeup
(before BP, he threw 40 pitches in the bullpen)

Friday will be the third time.

After the first one, the reporter wrote that the rehab team would like Wang throw more BP sessions, so the BP session will last until sometime around July 12...

Posted by: Grace68 | July 1, 2010 4:52 AM | Report abuse

Considering the Nats SP outside of Strausberg is an absolute disaster, this guy returning is MANDATORY for us to even slightly rebound

Posted by: Bious | July 1, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

>Friday will be the third time.

After the first one, the reporter wrote that the rehab team would like Wang throw more BP sessions, so the BP session will last until sometime around July 12...
Posted by: Grace68

Thanks for the info, Grace. Looks like he had 4 days off after the first one. They're just getting him started. Just because you can throw sometimes doesn't mean you should. I wonder when they'll introduce the breaking ball and sinker. He's a long way off imo.

Posted by: Brue | July 1, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

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