There is a two-word English phrase that sends Chien-Ming Wang fleeing to hide in the nearest bullpen.
During the course of his 14 years as a baseball pitcher in the United States, Wang has been on the disabled list 12 times. His injuries, if treated by a medical student, would qualify that student to become a doctor overnight.
His injuries: shoulder surgery, right middle finger blister, strained shoulder, strained hamstring, sprained foot, weak abductor muscle, torn shoulder capsule, shoulder surgery (again).
Consider that in almost the same amount of time, former Cincinnati Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo has never been on the disabled list.
“There is an art to staying off the DL and other guys are just predisposed to injury,” Reds manager Bryan Price said.
Wang is in camp as a non-roster player on a minor-league contract, hoping to resurrect his fading career.
Signed out of Taiwan by the New York Yankees in 2000, Wang won 19 games in both 2006 and 2007, but the injuries mounted and his ability to get on the mound and stay on the mound was limited.
“I am just trying to make a comeback,” he said. “I feel good and I just have to stay off the disabled list.”
Price hasn’t seen much of Wang so far this spring and is awaiting his first appearance on the mound in an exhibition game.
“He is one of those guys you have to see more in a game than on the side,” said Price. “They are sinkerball guys who aren’t power arms and you appreciate them against hitters, how they work their way through at-bats and the lineup. His sinker has been terrific.
“You know when you have a guy like this, when they are right they can really pitch well,” Price continued. “He had a really good year in Triple-A but wasn’t as good in Toronto (1-2, 6.75 in six starts).
“I talked to him and he felt because he wasn’t throwing as hard he had to be more refined in the strike zone. That doesn’t bode well for a guy who isn’t a strikeout pitcher. He has to be able to feed that sinker in the zone early for a ground ball. That’s what made him successful in New York.”
Phillips survives: Brandon Phillips tried to steal second base in the first inning Wednesday and was thrown out. When he went to his position he was shaking his hand and trainer Paul Lessard started to run out. Phillips waved him off and stayed in the game.
And he was in Thursday’s lineup.
“He bent the thumb nail back but didn’t have any issues with it after the game,” said Price. “They trimmed the nail back and all reports are good.”
Triple threat: Donald Lutz, all 251 pounds of him, tripled to right center on Wednesday and sped the bases like a sprinter.
“No doubt about it, Lutz can run and he can play,” said Price. “He is a good instinctive player for a kid who started playing the game so late (age 15).
“Lutz will be playing the first three games because we’ll have a handful of guys who will be playing regularly who are bench guys who will get more innings than our experienced guys. It is an opportunity for these young guys to impress.”
Thank you for reading the Dayton Daily News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to exclusive deals and newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Dayton Daily News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.