He was criticized for not being a strikeout guy. But he most likely leaves the Yankees with a 55-26 record, ERA 4.16 in basically a little over 3 years of work. ERA+ 107. Throw out the disaster that was 2009 and the numbers would be much better. His 2005, 8-5, 4.02 helped save the Yankees bacon after they got off to a poor start. That was followed by two straight 19-win seasons, and a CYA runnerup in 2006. 19-6, 3.63 followed by 19-7, 3.70.
In mid-2008 he started 5-0, 3.23, then had a couple of rough outings. Still, when he got injured running the bases, he was 8-2, 4.07. ERA+ 109. Last year, after missing the 2nd half of the 2008 season due to the Lis Franc fracture, he was a mess.
But Chien Ming Wang reminds me of another Yankee sinkerballer. Wang didn’t have the longevity of the other sinkerballer, but his career path is similar. Wang helped the Yanks salvage the 2005 season and get into the postseason. The other sinkerballer salvaged the 1964 season and helped the Yanks into the WS. Wang in 2006 struck out 76 in 218 innings. The other sinkerballer pitched 303 innings in 1969 and struck out 113.
The other sinkerballer won 20 games in a season 3x. Wang didn’t reach that but won 19 twice. Wang will be 30 at the end of March 2010. The other sinkerballer had his career come to an end at the age of 32.
Wang ends his Yankee career with and ERA + of 107. The other sinkerballer, who had a longer career than Wang with the Yanks (Wang 2005-2009, the other guy 1964-1974) had a career ERA+ of 111.
Both had shoulder trouble.
Wang had to be let go due to salary problems. The Yanks had to non-tender Wang. They couldn’t cut him more than 20% of his salary…From $5M to $4M. Based on what happened in 2009, they could not give him $4m as an unproven entity.
The other sinkerballer? Injured in mid-1974. Just before he was to get some kind of guaranteed contract in 1975, the other sinkerballer was released by the Yanks, despite winning 164 games, having a career ERA of 2.97 and that ERA+ of 111. That other sinkerballer was just 32. 3x 20 game winner. 4x MVP consideration, although no CYA consideration. As with Wang, the Yanks dumped him because of salary considerations.
I don’t know if Wang will pitch in the majors again. The other guy never did.
In 1975, rotator cuff trouble meant the end of a career. Not so nowadays, but who knows if Wang’s career is over or not.
Both saw ace to nada overnight.
You may have guessed who the other sinkerballer was. Mel Stottlemyre.