PITTSBURGH — Chien-Ming Wang will pitch for Triple-A Syracuse Wednesday night. He’s expected to go about six innings in his first rehab appearance above Single-A and test his strained left hamstring with the heaviest workload he’s had since getting injured March 15.
But the Nationals will not rush Wang back to the rotation, even if he throws 85-90 pitches Wednesday night. With their starting pitchers compiling a superb 2.19 ERA this season, the Nationals have no reason to rush him. They can keep him on rehab assignment until May 27 and, as Nationals manager Davey Johnson put it on Wednesday “we want him to be pretty much game ready.”
“With the starters throwing as good as they’re throwing, we want him to be doing the same thing down there in Triple-A, rather than him come in like he’s starting the season,” Johnson said.
Wang will remain with Triple-A and pitch in that rotation for the remainder of his rehab assignment, however long the Nationals deem that to be, before the team makes any decisions about how he’ll fit on the roster once they’re ready to activate him.
– Nationals closer Drew Storen could begin throwing this week, the first time he’ll do so after undergoing surgery to remove a bone chip from his right elbow. Johnson cautioned that it’ll still be a long road for Storen before he’s back in games.
“It’s going to be a while,” he said, adding the same for Brad Lidge. “I’ll be happy if these guys are in (rehab) games by the end of the month.”