Everyone out there is trying to name the Nats rotation before the season begins, and while they have a group of guys that could fit the bill, it is tough to say that any one player has a guaranteed spot. It’s not, like in the past, because nobody is any good. But with nobody being GREAT, a collection of pretty good pitchers, while maybe making you feel better, doesn’t spell stability. One player that could wind up in the rotation is last year’s surprise signing – Chien-Ming Wang.
Wang isn’t going to start the season in the rotation, he’s still recovering from injury. But he’s not in no-man’s land right now, he’s projected to start the year actually pitching, in the minors. He was throwing off flat ground this week, and could be ready to go after a few rehab starts in the minors. Perhaps by May, he will be ready to join the rotation. But let’s not get too caught up in projecting when he’ll get up. Rather, let’s imagine what it would be like if he does.
The first thing to recognize about Wang’s pitching is that he is an extreme ground ball pitcher. We always think of John Lannan as a groundball pitcher, and he is. But check out his numbers compared to Wang’s (using the Fangraph’s stat):