Sat, Apr 25, 2009 - Page 19 News List

Wang tunes up against Philadelphia minor leaguers


New York Yankees pitcher Wang Chien-ming threw 70 of 91 pitches for strikes over seven innings in an extended spring training game on Thursday.

Wang, who is 0-3 with a 34.50 ERA, was sent to the Yankees’ minor league complex to work on pitching consistency. He allowed five runs — four earned — nine hits and struck out 11 against Philadelphia Phillies minor leaguers.

Wang has not been told if he will make his next start in the majors or the minors. Wang was to fly to Boston on Friday to rejoin the Yankees for a weekend series with the Red Sox.

“Good day,” Wang said. “Sinker down more, but sometimes got higher and the ball didn’t sink.”

Yankees pitching coordinator Nardi Contreras planned to watch video of Thursday’s game and previous games Wang appeared in to compare mechanics.

“He doesn’t have the arm strength he had last year,” Contreras said. “But he hasn’t pitched in eight months prior to this spring training. What I saw today, he had the best slider I’ve seen since I’ve known Chien-ming. The slider has improved and the changeup is very good. His offspeed pitches are coming in really well.”

Wang missed the final three-and-a-half months last season with a foot injury but appeared to be healthy during spring training.

Yankees vice president Billy Connors worked on mechanics with Wang before the game.

“I thought he did well,” Connors said. “What I looked for was groundballs on his sinker. He had a good sinker. In this league here, you throw groundballs the ground is so hard they’re base hits. He needed to get out there and let his mind back in the groove.”

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