WASHINGTON — Taiwanese pitcher Chien-Ming Wang was impressive again in a rehab start in the minors Monday, but he could still have a hard time squeezing into the Washington Nationals’ crowded rotation. Wang pitched into the ninth inning for the Syracuse Chiefs, the Nationals’ Triple-A affiliate, in a 6-4 win over the Rochester Red Wings, giving up four runs on 11 hits, but only two runs over the first eight innings. He received a standing ovation when he exited the game with a 6-2 lead and two Red Wings on base.
“I saw him pitch, and he looked awful good,” Nationals manager Davey Johnson was quoted as saying by the AP. “That was a big step in the right direction. It depends how he recovers from that,” he added. “The question really comes down to, is he polished off enough to come in and replace one of our starters and give us the same type of effort?” Wang’s performance in Triple-A has not guaranteed him a spot in the Nationals’ starting rotation because the club already has five starters who all have ERAs under 4.00.