Chien-Ming Wang has yet to make an appearance in the Nationals clubhouse, but he remains set to start tomorrow against the Mets, his first major league start since July 4, 2009. Manager Davey Johnson said he’ll manage as if it’s his first start of the season out of spring training, limiting him to roughly 80-90 pitches.
“His first start up here after a couple years, he’s going to be a little more hyped,” Johnson said. “It’s going to take some more out of him.”
With Wang entering the rotation, fifth starter Tom Gorzelanny will spend Friday night in the bullpen. Gorzelanny would have started Friday, but instead, Johnson said, he is now the probable starter for Monday’s game against the Braves. The rotation, though, is fluid because of Sunday’s trade deadline.
“Rather than rearrange everything, he’ll be kind of insurance,” Johnson said. “The almighty trading deadline is coming. We may do something there. All of that I just told you could go out the window.”
The Nationals have received phone calls about veteran starters Jason Marquis and Livan Hernandez. They may end up holding on to both, since the Nationals will not be able to get a significant return for either pitcher. But if they do, then Wang will be able to naturally slide into the rotation.
“I did tell my players that there is a lot of interest in players on our ballclub,” Johnson said. “I told them we’ll probably have to do at least one thing. What that is, I don’t know.”