The Nationals plan on Chien-Ming Wang making one more start for Class AAA Syracuse after tonight, then bringing him to the major leagues to join their rotation by the end of July, Manager Davey Johnson said. The plan, of course, presumes continued good health and performance from Wang, who last pitched in the majors July 4, 2009 for the New York Yankees.
Wang, 31, has been recovering from a major shoulder surgery for two years. The Nationals signed him in February 2010 to a $2 million, one-year contract, then signed him to another one-year contract this winter for $1 million, plus incentives.
If all goes well tonight in Syracuse, Wang will make his next and final Class AAA start Sunday. Wang would then come to the majors and join the Nationals rotation, likely making his first big league start during a series from July 29-31 at Nationals Park against the Mets. The Nationals, by that point, may have made room in their rotation by trading a veteran starter.
Wang made his first rehab appearance June 27, and he has only 30 days before the Nationals must either promote him to the 25-man roster or designate him for assignment. If he’s hurt, they can put him back on the disabled list. A team may option a player to the minors at the end of a rehab, but Wang is out of options.
In other brief news: The Nationals reinstated reliever Chad Gaudin from the disabled list and immediately designated him for assignment. The Nationals signed Gaudin, 28, to a minor league deal this winter. He pitched 8 1/3 innings in April before hurting his shoulder, allowing six earned runs on eight walks and 12 hits, striking out 10.