New York Yankees: Chien-Ming Wang's Future Hangs on the Change-up
Hope everyone is having a Happy Easter. And if you don't celebrate Easter, I hope you're having a great day. But let's not get religion, Hallmark holidays, and sports mixed in. Especially since this is my first post on Bleacher Report.
The New York Yankees played the Pittsburgh Pirates recently and, going into the third inning, Jeff Karstens completed a scoreless and hitless bottom half.
As the opponents' bats were silent, many Yankee hopefuls can only hope this trend will carry on the entire season.
We know this can't be true, not even with the great 1998 Yankees.
However, a good arm in Chien-Ming Wang will take the mound this coming season, starting in only seven days and 23 hours to be exact.
He is the winningest pitcher in all of baseball in the past two years with complete season wins (38) and winning percentage (.720). He dominates with his sinking fastball, which tops just under the mid-90s on the gun, but some might say he's losing his "winning-ways."
Don't count him out just yet.
As most would assume, and in this case this assumption could become a theory with Wang, sinkerball pitchers get groundouts and not too many strikeouts. You have to respect a Major League stud that would change his whole pitching arsenal to better prepare their team for wins, and maybe give their middle infielders a break.
That change he's making is adding a change-up.
Interestingly enough, while working with the change this spring in a game against the Cleveland Indians, he allowed four runs as he fanned seven.
So the question we have to ask is, "Should we utilize the change-up as part of his every day arsenal?"
Well let's look at both sides.
With his change-up, and I know he's just starting it out, he didn't do so well. As this is "playing" out during the 2008 Spring Training, Wang allowed practically one earned run per inning pitched.
Also, we have to be careful with hurting his stellar career by adding a bad season. But remember he's still 28 years young.
And who said learning the change is a career mistake? As we are watching this game, Jeff Karstens' change-up is keeping all of the hitters off balance. Fortunately for him, only one run has been recorded into the fourth.
"It's like trying to hit a bowling ball," Guidry said, describing Wang's sinker. Adding the change will only improve his game by giving him an even bigger number of strategies to get hitters out.
Later in the game, Edwar Ramirez dominated with the change-up, even though he still allowed one run. So we'll see how the rest of the season turns out.
Even with Wang healthy, Joe Girardi has a lot on his plate to produce Wang as Joe Torre had.
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