The Yankees announced Wednesday that Chien-Ming Wang is being moved to the rotation to start Thursday’s series finale against Texas. Phil Hughes, who replaced Wang when he was placed on the DL a few weeks ago, will stay with the team as a long-reliever in the bullpen.
CC Sabathia had been scheduled to pitch Thursday, but he was pushed to Friday, giving him an extra day’s rest. It also splits up the two lefty pitchers in the rotation – Andy Pettitte and Sabathia. The season started with the two split in the rotation but the rotation got screwy when Wang was sent to the DL.
After starting the season with an atrocious 34.50 ERA, Wang was placed on the DL with what I refer to as a “sham injury” in order to get him some help with his confidence and some way to bring back the form that saw him win 19 games in 2006 and 2007.
After an initial shaky return to the bullpen, Wang has thrown 5 shutout innings in relief – apparently enough for GM Brian Cashman and skipper Joe Girardi to consider him ready to start.
ESPN is reporting that Wang will only throw 80 pitches in what will be his first start since April 18.