WASHINGTON, D.C. — Two Taiwanese pitchers playing for different Major League Baseball teams in the United States met up on Friday prior to upcoming games scheduled to take place between the two teams.
Chien-Ming Wang of the Washington Nationals and Wei-Yin Chen of the Baltimore Orioles met at Orioles Park prior to clashes scheduled for June 22-24.
This was the first time the two Taiwanese players had met each other. Although Chen previously pitched against the Nationals on May 20, Wang was not on the team as he was playing rehabilitation games in the minor league due to a hamstring injury during spring training. While Chen was practicing his pitching, Wang walked over and gave his compatriot a hug to mark the rare occasion of two Taiwanese players meeting on a ballpark in a foreign country.
The two players chatted briefly and Wang said he offered words of encouragement to Chen. Chen and Wang will not be pitching against each other in the upcoming games, however, as Wang will be a reliever when he plays on June 24, said Nationals manager Davey Johnson.
The Nationals announced on June 20 that Wang will be taken off rotation and return to the bullpen for further observations, as his performances have been below expectations lately, Johnson said.
The right-handed Wang has been struggling to regain control and command of his signature sinkers lately, having disastrously given up seven hits and three walks in a 5-4 loss in a game against the Tampa Bay Rays on June 19. His ERA has risen to 6.10. Chen on the other hand will be Oriole’s starting pitcher on June 23 and will pitch against Edwin Jackson.