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Wang back in bullpen after rotation switch

2012/06/21 15:00:33

Washington, June 20 (CNA) The Washington Nationals made the decision to replace starter Chien-Ming Wang with reliever Ross Detwiler Wednesday after he allowed five runs in 3 1/3 innings in a loss to the Tampa Bay Rays the previous day.

Detwiler was moved back into rotation as the fifth starter, replacing Wang, while Wang will pitch out of the bullpen as a reliever until he returns to his previous form.

The Taiwanese right-hander started the season on the disabled list after suffering from a spring training injury.

"Wang is very valuable to us and I feel like in his (four) starts that he has not improved his mechanics," said manager Davey Johnson. "I still really like his arm strength. It seems like he still has not got his rhythm yet but hopefully he will, because I'm going to need him," he added.

Wang will be working extensively with pitching coach Steve McCatty to try and get back on form.

According to baseball experts, Wang releases the ball too quickly and his body cannot match the movements of his pitch, thus causing an imbalance in his pitches. It results in a fastball but lacks the precision and accuracy of his trademark sinker.

There are three possibilities about what the Nationals could do with Wang but they are not attractive choices, Adam Kilgore wrote for the Washington Post.

He said the Nationals could give up on him after four starts, they could trade him or they could keep him in rotation.

"The stakes are high for the Nationals now, too high for the Nationals to wait too long for Wang to become what he is capable of," added Kilgore.

However, Johnson said he thinks "there is a lot there. We need to figure it out. It's getting late but we will," indicating that they will be sticking with Wang for now.

Wang's ERA rose to 6.62 after four starts by giving up 14 walks and 26 hits in only 17 2/3 innings. In his last game against the Rays, he allowed three walks and seven hits over 3 1/3 innings.

In comparison, Detwiler, who substituted Wang in the fourth against the Rays and pitched 3 2/3 hitless innings, retiring 11 out of 12 hitters, posted a 3.34 ERA.

(By Tony Liao and I-Ling Chen)