Chien-Ming Wang is returning from a foot injury last season. Wang says that the foot is fully healed and that he is ready to go. Wang is very excited about the additions the Yankees made to the team this off-season, as he should be.
I think some people are underestimating what the Wanger is capable of. He was the most winningest pitcher in baseball in 2006 & 2007, while putting up back-to-back 19 win seasons. He doesn't get the credit he deserves because he isn't a power pitcher who strikes out every batter that steps up to the plate. He is a ground ball pitcher, but that doesn't make him less valuable then others. I would definitely consider him an ace.
When I walked into the complex this morning, the first two guys I saw were Chien-Ming Wang and Phil Hughes.
The Wanger looked good. He got to Arizona in mid January and worked out for several weeks with a trainer before coming here. He has thrown off the mound twice and will again tomorrow.
Wang said his foot has totally healed and he is ready to go. I asked him about the Yankees adding CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett.
"Great for us," he said. "We have a good rotation. I was glad."
Wang has long resisted the idea of being considered the ace of the staff. Part of it is his personality, part of it is cultural. He defers to older players and always has. The guy is a competitor on the mound but quiet off it. Look for him to have a big year as he tries to make up for missing so much time. He also was relieved not to face another arbitration hearing.
Hughes has been in Tampa for a while as well. It speaks well of him that he showed up early knowing it's a long-shot that he makes the team.
Dave Eiland and Rob Thomson were there with the players. Those two guys get after it. Also saw scouting director Damon Oppenheimer, who was watching workouts.