April 25, Washington (CNA) Taiwanese pitcher Chien-ming Wang will start in his first rehabilitation game this season with the minor league Potomac Nationals April 28, according to a press release on the team's website Wednesday.
It will be Wang's second start for Potomac since July 2 last year, when he threw four scoreless one-hit innings and led the team to a 14-1 win over Wilmington Blue Rocks, the press release said.
Wang strained his left hamstring earlier this year during spring training with the Washington Nationals of the major league and will be expected to throw 85 pitches in a single game before the Nationals will consider recalling him to the majors, the press release quoted team manager Davey Johnson as saying.
He will be expected to throw 65 pitches in Saturday's game, rising to 75 on his second rehab outing, Johnson added.
Wang is expected to pitch in three rehab matches in the minors before returning to the majors at the end of May.
However, it remains uncertain whether he will return to the Nationals' pitcher rotation, as Ross Detwiler, who has substituted as the team's fifth starter, has performed exceptionally well this season.
A report on the team's website predicted that Detwiler, who has averaged a 0.56 ERA this season, will stay on the rotation, while Wang will be placed in the bullpen as a long reliever.
In addition to Wang's rehab woes, he admitted April 23 to having an eight-month extra-marital affair two years ago, which one U.S. media report blamed on the National League's lack of designated hitters.
Wang cited his long rehabilitation process from an earlier shoulder injury that began in 2009 and left him depressed and lonely, as a leading factor behind his affair, prompting NBC reporter Craig Calcaterra to write that if the league had designated hitters, Wang would not have injured himself running bases and would therefore not have been subjected to the long process of physical recovery.
“If he doesn't injure himself he's not on that depressing, lonely 'long road to rehabilitation,' and if he's not on that road he does not have that affair,” Calcaterra wrote.
The Washington Nationals general manager, Mike Rizzo, showed support for Wang by issuing an e-mail statement in which he wrote that Wang "has my full support, and the support of the Washington Nationals organization, as he and his family deal with a difficult personal situation."
(By Tony Liao, Kuo Yi-chieh, Chou Yung-chieh and C.J. Lin)