Discussion: Wang Or Lewis?

Earlier today, Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com had updates on a pair of Alan Nero clients: pitchers Chien-Ming Wang and Colby Lewis.

Both pitchers represent low-cost rotation alternatives for 2010, and there are differing reasons to value the potential upside of both.

For Wang, the news came that he could throw off of a mound in six-to-eight weeks, news that was "even more positive" than expected from Dr. James Andrews, according to Nero.

Nevertheless, the pitching-needy Mets have yet to contact Nero about Wang, 1050 ESPN Radio's Andrew Marchand reports.

The reason Wang is even in the position of free agency is due to his health issues over the past few years. Considering he posted a 46-15 record from 2006-2008, with an ERA of 3.74, all while pitching in the ultra-competitive American League East, a return to form would present a team with a strong member of the starting rotation.

But could Lewis be an even better alternative than Wang? Lewis struggled mightily in five major league seasons, posting an ugly 6.71 ERA, but his performance in Japan during 2008-2009 was eye-popping. He led the Central League in strikeouts in each campaign, walking just 46 in 354 1/3 innings.

Ultimately, the combination of Lewis' numbers and good health would make him a better buy-low fit, in my opinion.


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33 Comments on "Discussion: Wang Or Lewis?"


andrewmets9
5 years 7 months ago

The Yankees will resign wang, because nobody is interested in a player coming off the worst year possible and surgery.

Guest
5 years 7 months ago

Why would the Yankees be interested in a player “coming off the worst year possible?”

InTheKZone
5 years 7 months ago

I wouldn’t say that. I think there are several teams that would give him a shot. He’d be a low risk/high reward signing. Much like Sheets but with far less risk. I’d personally love to see the Cardinals give him a chance.

Infield Fly
5 years 7 months ago

Hey, if I had Dave Duncan in the house, I’d feel the same way!
Alas, my team does not…

5 years 7 months ago

That line of thought makes zero sense. The Yanks never had a great relationship with Wang to begin with, after the last 2 seasons there’s nothing forcing their hand to keep him around.

andrewmets9
5 years 7 months ago

Because hes been a Yankee his whole career and he will end up back in NY for less money.

Jiujitsu411420
5 years 7 months ago

Cubbies need to jump at the chance to sign Wang. I think he would come a bit cheaper than Sheets.

karatemanchan37
5 years 7 months ago

Yeah, probably Wang will only be offered a minor league deal at most

5 years 7 months ago

Wang’s best bet is the Dodgers. Torre always loved him.

5 years 7 months ago

Yanks already said they will match any offer made to Wang

cubbyfan23
5 years 7 months ago

When? Why would they non-tender him if they thought enough of him to match any offer?

5 years 7 months ago

bcus there were not going o pay him 5M. They offered him a contract, but his agent wanted guarantee money.

coolstorybro222
5 years 7 months ago

Wang’s a headcase. I don’t get why teams want him.

Yankees10
5 years 7 months ago

Wang. Colby Lewis has proven he cant pitch in the Majors.

Guest
5 years 7 months ago

He will be back with the Yankees. 1 yr/ $2.5M with incentives based on starts and ERA up to $4M. I think he regains his form in what is his last chance to impress/stay with the Yankees.

diehardmets
5 years 7 months ago

I wouldn’t mind seeing Wang as a Met, though I would prefer Sheets. Wang is a legit ace at his best, and would come a lot cheaper than Sheets.

5 years 7 months ago

Wang is a good #2 at his best, not an ace.

He never has been an ace, he never will be an ace.

andrewdavis82
5 years 7 months ago

’06 19-6 3.63 ERA
’07 19-7 3.70 ERA

He may not be a strikeout guy but with numbers like that its hard to say he isnt an ace because before he got injured he was considered the ace of the Yankees. Now imgaine how much better those numbers would have been out of the AL East too. If he is healthy again he could be a stud for the team that gets him. Then again a flop if he is still injured like the last two years. He’s a gamble but if I had a rotation in my team I would want him or a guy like Sheets over some scrub.

andrewdavis82
5 years 7 months ago

’06 19-6 3.63 ERA
’07 19-7 3.70 ERA

He may not be a strikeout guy but with numbers like that its hard to say he isnt an ace because before he got injured he was considered the ace of the Yankees. Now imgaine how much better those numbers would have been out of the AL East too. If he is healthy again he could be a stud for the team that gets him. Then again a flop if he is still injured like the last two years. He’s a gamble but if I had a rotation in my team I would want him or a guy like Sheets over some scrub.

andrewdavis82
5 years 7 months ago

Wang is the better guy to go for. I will take a guy who has had success in the AL East over a guy who had success in Japan and was blasted in the MLB. If Wang is healthy and 3/4 of what he once was even he is a legit starter for a contender. I dont see the Yankees grabbing him. They got Sabathia, Burnett, Pettite, Vasquez, and that final spot is said to be for either Hughes or Joba who they cant seem to understand are both better off in the pen. I would say watch a team like Phillies, Mets, Cubs to go after Wang big time if he can prove he is healthy.

Suzysman
5 years 7 months ago

For those unaware, this is Colby Lewis as a SP the last two seasons in the NPB08 – 9.25 K/9, 1.37 BB/9, 6.78 K/BB, 0.61 HR/9, .305 babip, 2.51 FIP, 178 IP09 – 9.49 K/9, 0.97 BB/9, 9.79 K/BB, 0.66 HR/9, ???* babip, 2.32 FIP, 176 IP(*Don’t have complete 2009 stats so cant calculate the exact BAbip here – in .310 range)And these are his final two seasons in the minor leagues (as purely a sp)06 – 6.34 K/9, 2.19 BB/9, 2.89 K/BB, 0.79 HR/9, .311 babip, 3.81 FIP, 147 IP07 – 9.13 K/9, 2.16 BB/9, 4.22 K/BB, 0.75 HR/9, .264 babip, 3.01 FIP, 95 IPThose NPB and AAA lines match up pretty well. Still better in NPB, but close. The K% is truly impressive, and consistent to what he saw here in 07. You can conclude the BB% drop is because of the more contact style of Japan. If you correct the BB% in the NPB to his 2.2 range in AAA, the FIPs in Japan end up in the 2.8 range both seasons.That is now 4 straight years with very strong FIP marks. He hasn’t been given a short in the ML as a starting pitcher since 2003 – it is time he got another. Could be one heck of a pick up for a smaller market team in need of a starter.

MichiganMan2424
5 years 7 months ago

I would like to see the Yanks resign Wang to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training. He was a 19 game winner back to back years when healthy in the AL East, showing he can pitch there. We sign him to a spring training deal, see if he’s recovered or not. If not, we don’t bring him on the big league roster, if he does we put him in the bullpen or as our 5 starters. Then from there we see how he does again, judge him on a start to start basis. If he pitches well, it gives us better depth in our bullpen, by letting Hughes and Joba stay in the pen, and our rotation is better with Wang back. If he doesn’t pan out, oh well, no harm done.

dugoutdog
5 years 7 months ago

I think Wang would be low-risk, high-reward for an NL team like the Mets/Marlins/Padres.
A big yard, decent defence would help him regain his confidence while coming back from the tough year in new yankee stadium.

5 years 7 months ago

Comparison to Major League Baseball
NPB ball.

Play in the Pacific League is similar to that in American League baseball, with the use of designated hitters, unlike the Central League. Unlike North American baseball, Japanese baseball games may end in a tie. If the score is tied after nine innings of play, up to three additional innings will be played. If there is no winner after 12 innings, the game is declared a draw, except in the postseason, where games that are tied after 15 innings must be replayed. Other differences from MLB are that the general play is less aggressive, there are fewer home runs, the strike zone is larger near the batter but smaller away from the batter, and the ball is slightly smaller and wound more tightly.

(^^^Thank You WiKipedia)

IINM, Beyond those stated differences…The balls used in the MLB is covered w/ cowhide & the NPB uses BB that is still covered w/ horse leather. (MLB’s were until 1974)

So…W/ the above in mind…I’m not so sure Colby Lewis is a sure thing back in the states…No one knows how his stuff will adjust to the different ball…the different climate back in the states…So, he would have to be considered a “competitor” for a #5SP role anywhere he end-up. (Plenty of those kind of guys will be BEGGING for jobs in 3-4weeks)

If Lewis has any suitors…He’d better jump froggy now to even get a descent minor league deal w/ Spring invite…(Something in the $400K + another $150-250K in starts/inn pitched incentives.)

Wang, on the otherhand, is a proven commodity (when healthy).

It has been mentioned that the NYY will match any offer he gets. Which, if I were Chien-Ming…I’d be pissed & go elsewhere (because of that fact alone). F the NYY.

If I were him…I’d look at the LAD, LAA, SFG & SEA as landing spots on the left coast (pitcher friendly parks, winning organizations and large Asian communities.)…Sign a 1 yr deal w/ incentives..And go pitch my ass off for a multi-yr deal, next winter.

Ohhhplease
5 years 7 months ago

Would love to see the Padres offer Wang 1.5 million with 500k in incentives. Would be a very nice 4 or 5 for the Pads, playing in a cavernous yard with very good defense behind him.

Would allow him to rebuild some confidence,and would be a low-risk/high reward for the Pads. Sort of like how Mark Prior was supposed to work out for them…but didn’t.

5 years 7 months ago

As a Yankee fan I’m kind of iffy about the Yankees resigning Wang. They said he would be ready in May and plus he came off his worst season as a pitcher. Im surprised that alot of teams are interested.

R_y_a_n
5 years 7 months ago

Don’t be surprised. If healthy, Wang is a #2 or #3 starter. Considering he probably won’t cost more than 4 mil + incentives, it should be no surprise he is so popular on the market this year.

5 years 7 months ago

Hughes is 23 with less than 450 professional innings. Joba is 24 with less than 400 professional innings. Both have shown they can throw more than 2 pitches. To put them in the pen permanently at this stage is blindingly stupid.

5 years 7 months ago

I believe the Yanks non-tendered him because they wanted to be able to put him in the minors. By non-tendering they are able to get away from a major league contract and sign him to a minor league deal. The problem the last two years was he was never able to get enough time in the minors on his rehab limit and they were forced to bring him up and use him with disastrous results.

If they sign him to a minor league deal, he won’t be ready until May anyway, they can put him in Scranton as long as he needs to get healthy, build up arm strength, and show he is ready to return to form. All the while the Yanks are seeing what they got with Hughes and/or Joba in the rotation, and they have insurance if Burnett, Pettitte, or anyone else in the rotation suffers an injury.

Wang is the perfect minor league signing for the Yankees who can afford to gamble on his return to form and know what they got if he does.

commercecomet
5 years 7 months ago

Like you, I’d be happy if the Yankees took a risk on Wang. Wang’s worst season is most likely due to the injury which ultimately had to be fixed. If Wang returns to form, he’s a very good middle of the rotation pitcher. Even if Wang makes less than a full rebound, he could still be a decent back of the rotation guy at this price.

I’m not sure I see why this is an either/or for the Yankees. If Cashman and the scouts are impressed by the potential of both, sign them. We’re not talking about mega-deals here.

commercecomet
5 years 7 months ago

Like you, I’d be happy if the Yankees took a risk on Wang. Wang’s worst season is most likely due to the injury which ultimately had to be fixed. If Wang returns to form, he’s a very good middle of the rotation pitcher. Even if Wang makes less than a full rebound, he could still be a decent back of the rotation guy at this price.

I’m not sure I see why this is an either/or for the Yankees. If Cashman and the scouts are impressed by the potential of both, sign them. We’re not talking about mega-deals here.

andrewdavis82
5 years 7 months ago

Chris Connolly 13 hours ago 1 person liked this.

“Hughes is 23 with less than 450 professional innings. Joba is 24 with less than 400 professional innings. Both have shown they can throw more than 2 pitches. To put them in the pen permanently at this stage is blindingly stupid.:”

Hughes ERA was 5.15 his 1st two seasons. Last year he had an ERA of 3.03 when all but 7 of his 51 appearances were out of the pen. In ’08 Joba’s ERA was 2.60 in 42 games with 30 of those are releif appearances. Last year when all but one appearance was as a starter his ERA jumped to 4.75. I am not saying there is no chance that they can be decent starters, but I think numbers are starting to show that they are better out of the pen.