Wang Chien-ming received a second opinion on his injured pitching shoulder, and it remains uncertain when the New York Yankees right-hander might return to the mound.
Wang went on the 15-day disabled list on July 5 with a strained right shoulder. After two weeks of rest, he played catch on Monday and experienced more discomfort.
“I feel the same in the front of my shoulder,” he said on Thursday.
Wang was examined on Wednesday by New York Mets medical director
David Altchek. The Yankees received an assessment, which they didn’t detail. Next, they will confer with renowned orthopedist James Andrews in Alabama.
When the analysis is complete, the Yankees said, they will discuss Wang’s status. As of now, there are no plans for the pitcher to see Andrews, the team said.
“Second opinions are almost routine here,” general manager Brian Cashman said before New York’s series opener against the Oakland Athletics.
A 19-game winner in 2006 and 2007, Wang missed the final three-and a-half-months of last season after injuring his right foot while running the bases in Houston.
This season has been wrecked by injuries and ineffectiveness.
Wang is 1-6 with a 9.64 ERA in 12 games, including nine starts. The sinkerballer was sidelined from April 19 to May 21 with adductor muscle weakness in his hips.
New York called up Sergio Mitre from the minors to take Wang’s spot in the rotation and he beat Baltimore 6-4 on Tuesday night for his first major league win since July 29, 2007, with Florida.
With Wang sidelined and former starters Phil Hughes and Alfredo Aceves now in the bullpen, the Yankees would like to have more starting pitching depth in case of another injury.
“We know that we’re a little thin,” manager Joe Girardi said.
In other news, Cashman and Girardi said the Yankees still plan to keep 23-year-old starter Joba Chamberlain on an innings limit this season, though they didn’t divulge details.
Cashman said Chamberlain would not be shut down before the end of the regular season, and Girardi said it’s possible the right-hander could shift back to the bullpen at some point this year to prevent him from surpassing his innings limit.
“Nothing’s changed,” Cashman said. “It’s not a new plan.”
And it’s not an issue that must be dealt with in the next couple of weeks, Cashman said.
Chamberlain, mostly a starter in college and the minors, emerged as a dominant setup reliever when he reached the majors late in 2007. He was moved to the rotation in the middle of last season and there’s been much debate in New York about where he belongs.
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