The Washington Nationals made the decision to replace starter Wang Chien-ming with reliever Ross Detwiler on Wednesday, after Wang allowed five runs in 3-1/3 innings in a loss to the Tampa Bay Rays the previous day.
Detwiler was moved back into rotation as the fifth starter, replacing Wang, while Wang will pitch out of the bullpen as a reliever until he returns to his previous form.
The Taiwanese right-hander started the season on the disabled list after suffering from a spring training injury.
“Wang is very valuable to us and I feel like in his [four] starts that he has not improved his mechanics,” Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson said.
“I still really like his arm strength. It seems like he still has not got his rhythm yet, but hopefully he will, because I’m going to need him,” he added.
Wang will be working extensively with pitching coach Steve McCatty to try and get back on form.
According to baseball experts, Wang releases the ball too quickly and his body cannot match the movements of his pitch, thus causing an imbalance in his pitches. It results in a fastball, but lacks the precision and accuracy of his trademark sinker.
Wang’s ERA rose to 6.62 after four starts by giving up 14 walks and 26 hits in only 17-2/3 innings.
In comparison, Detwiler, who substituted Wang in the fourth against the Rays and pitched 3-2/3 hitless innings, retiring 11 out of 12 hitters, posted a 3.34 ERA.