By Joseph Yeh ,The China Post
TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan-native pitcher Chien-Ming Wang will return to the Major League and start for the Toronto Blues Jays at Saturday’s game against the Houston Astros, the team manager told local media on Friday. “He has been up here (in the Majors), he is a seasoned vet, he had some good starts for us and he was doing fine down there (in the Minors). Everything kind of fell in line,” manager John Gibbons said. However, Gibbons said the decision to call up Wang doesn’t mean the Taiwanese right-hander will be added back to the team’s starting rotation. The Blue Jays were in need of a starting pitcher because of a doubleheader against the New Yankees earlier this week and another off-day will not come until next Thursday, he said. “I think we’re just going to need one start,” Gibbons said.
But he also noted that Major league rosters will be expanded from 25-men to 40-men on Sept. 1. His team will make final decision on whether to keep Wang in his team after Wang’s Saturday start. The 33-year-old hurler previously made five starts for Blue Jays earlier this season. He had a 1-1 record with a 7.13 ERA, 35 hits, 8 walks and 11 strikeouts in 24 innings.
Wang’s first three starts this season were impressive but his last two starts only lasted 1.2 innings each and he gave up 13 earned runs in the 3.1 innings.
Poor performance forced Wang to accept an assignment with the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons, an affiliate with the Blue Jays, in July. In his last 10 games with the Bisons, the righty has had a 4-3 record with a 3.18 ERA, 12 walks and 30 strikeouts in 51 innings. Wang was originally scheduled to start the Bisons’ game Thursday night, but was removed from the roster and replaced by Ricky Romero.
Wang to Meet Lo Wang is expected to meet his fellow countryman Chia-Jen Lo (羅嘉仁), the Astros’ Taiwan-native reliever, at Saturday’s game. Lo, 27, was called up to the Majors last month, making him the 10th Taiwanese national, and the seventh pitcher, to play in the big leagues. Lo is now 0-1 with an ERA of 1.00 in the eight games he has played for the Astros as reliever.
The right-hander told U.S. media that he is looking forward to meeting with Wang as Wang has been an idol for all Taiwanese pitchers. Wang was considered the New York Yankees’ ace pitcher for the 2006 and 2007 seasons, after winning 19 games in both years, to finish among the Major League leaders in victories.