Wang: Rotator-Cuff Tear?

Pete Abraham reports that the Yankees have sent Chien-Ming Wang to see Dr. James Andrews because they are unsure whether or not his second MRI revealed a rotator-cuff tear, or scar tissue from his previous operation in 2000.  His examination will be Tuesday.  Clearly, this is difficult news and, if he has a rotator-cuff tear, he will miss considerable time–into the 2010 season.

Abraham adds: “If Wang does need surgery, the Yankees could non-tender him in December rather than have him rehab on their dime.”  That would be a real shame if that transpired, for Wang was not only a very reliable starter for the Yanks for a few years.  I am convinced, and I doubt that I am alone in this, that any shoulder injury may well have been the result of mechanical issues stemming from last year’s foot injury and the rehabilitation mess that followed–Wang’s not running this off-season resulting in weakened legs, and his subsequent pitching struggles.  That is, the Yanks treated Wang as if he were some journeyman, then had him pitching this Spring Training as if his velocity would naturally return and, when it didn’t, discussed Wang as though he were too soft instead of his legs not being in game shape.  Disgraceful, and non-tendering him would be even more egregious.

I know I am getting ahead of myself, but if the Yanks non-tender Wang, they will have treated him more shabbily than they did that malignant PaVoldemort.  I really hope that doesn’t happen.  More presciently, I hope he doesn’t have a serious rotator-cuff injury.  He’s had a rough stretch since last June.

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Published in: on July 26, 2009 at 8:37 pm  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. well clearly he was mishandled from the get go–bad advice during the off season to do nothing and stay off the foot. tehn no follow up testing- then bringing him back from the DL too quickly. on the other hand if he needs surgery then they should get rid of him. why pay for him to do nothing for the team in 2010. sorry if that sounds cold, but it makes the most sense financially. no reason to compare this to pavano–they had to pay him the 39 million

  2. All this is speculative about a potential move on Wang, Mike. But he may not be out for the entirety of 2010 with a rotator-cuff tear. Plus, considering what they wouldn’t want to pay him–80% of his $5 million salary of 2009 (= $4 million), or 70% of his $4 million salary of 2008 (= $2.8 million)–should they non-tender him before 2010, that is a far cry from the $39.95 million over four years to Pavano. It’s also not a heck of a lot to pay to possibly rectify a two-time 19-game winner, whose form was just fine before an injury and the aforementioned poor advice from the organization.

    Cold it would be, and possibly unnecessary depending on the severity of the injury and his previous effectiveness. It would also reaffirm my point about Wang and the Yanks, who hard-bargained Wang for a few seasons at far lower salaries than Pavano and many others who didn’t win 19 games once, much less twice.

    I just hope it doesn’t come down to that. Hopefully this is not a serious shoulder injury. That would solve a lot.

  3. =\ Well, this is certainly not good news. I hate to see someone rooted from the farm system be basically cast aside. Granted the injuries have been a lot, but still. I like the Yankees’ farm system and what it’s produced. Wang included. Hopefully whatever happens will end up positive for everyone involved.

  4. The Yankees have mishandled quite a few player injuries, it seems. But since Wang had his first surgery in 2000, he’s not new to shoulder problems and probably should have been watched more closely. That said, he started to go downhill before the Lisfranc. His 2007 postseason games against the Indians were dreadful and I kept wondering whether he was hurt even back then.


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