Friday, April 11, 2008

Cy Wang

I guess Chien-Ming Wang didn't like what he was hearing this winter. Wang is looking like a serious Cy Young candidate at the moment. Now obviously it is April so I know that anything can happen over the next six months, but it is hard to ignore what Wang has done in his first three starts. Tonight's start is by far the most impressive. Throwing a complete game with only 93 pitches is very Greg Maddux like and CMW has improved a lot of his peripheral numbers which show that he might be on his way to being the ace no one thought he could be.

Don't believe me? Well look at the numbers. Wang never strikes out a lot of batters, but last year his K/9 rate shot up by more than 1.50; from 3.14 in 2006 to 4.70 in '07 . This has also led to an increase in his strike out to walk ratio. His K/9 this year sits at 4.50 and with the development and increased usage of both his change up and slider he looks to have more options to get batters out rather than just making them pound the ball into the ground. CMW is an adaptive pitcher who didn't have a sinker ball until he came to America. It is entirely in the realm of possibility that he has evolved again into a more dynamic pitcher.

That of course is a question that will be answered over the course of the rest of the season, but for right now Wang is shutting the critics up and it's pretty nice to see it happen against the Sox in Fenway where he's had so much trouble. I really can't think of a better way to start off another year of Yanks vs. Sox. Can you?


Dennis said...

Both squads are still pretty thin on pitching. And I know how talented the youngsters are, but they are still youngsters, and this is their first full season in the big leagues. To expect more than 20 starts each out of Hughes, Buchholz, Kennedy, etc., is really not far to them, and quite unrealistic.

Pete said...

Well the Yanks can expect more from Kennedy because his arm has more innings on it than the other two because of his college years. It is unrealistic to think Hughes or Buchholz is going to be an anchor. None the less both teams have enough in the front to or three plus hitting to make you not worry about the back end. In past seasons the back end of the Yankee rotation would be a black hole at least now they have chance to win more of those games. Plus they can both close the door at the end of games.

Dennis said...

In three years at USC, Kennedy appeared in 50 games and threw just over 300 innings. That is not a lot. What you also seem to be overlooking is factors beyond number of pitches or innings thrown.

First off, all of these guys have thrown less than 200 innings in professional baseball. Not in the big leagues, in professional baseball. Lots of pitching prospects with electric stuff come to the big leagues and flop.

Second, you can count on one hand the amount of young pitchers how DON"T get injured, so they are all likely to miss starts.

Third, Kennedy was already removed after 2 + innings this season and Buchholz after (I believe) 4. Their performances are going to be, at best, inconsistent.

Who knows, maybe they will all have big years. All I am saying is to rely on rookie pitchers, in those pressure cooker environments, to immediately become above average major league starters, is not likely to work out well.