Fri, Dec 01, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Wang Chien-ming remains hopeful of return to MLB

Staff writer, with CNA

Former New York Yankees ace pitcher Wang Chien-ming yesterday said that he still has high hopes of returning to the US major leagues and has no plans to retire just yet.

The 37-year-old righty, who has not played professionally in more than a year, told the media that he is just waiting for a chance to return to the MLB.

“I spent all these years playing baseball, which is something I love and have been doing every day,” Wang said, adding that he is “kind of afraid” that if he chooses to retire now, he will lose the main focus of his life.

Playing as the Yankees starting pitcher from 2005 to 2008, Wang had back-to-back 19-win seasons in 2006 and 2007 before suffering a foot injury that precipitated a career slide.

After bouncing around the minor leagues for three years, Wang signed a minor-league contract with the Kansas City Royals during last year’s off-season.

The Royals later included Wang on their 25-man roster for the season, during which he made 38 appearances, compiling a 6-0 record and an ERA of 4.22. He worked 53-1/3 innings out of the bullpen, with 30 strikeouts and 18 walks.

Wang last appeared in the MLB on Aug. 30 last year, after which he was placed on the team’s 15-day disabled list with tendinitis in his right arm.

Wang’s season ended in September last year after the Royals designated him for assignment, making him a free agent.

Wang said that over the past year as a free agent, he has spent most of his time in the US preparing to play at any time.

Despite the uncertainty about his future, Wang said he would not give up, because he thinks he still has what it takes to return to the MLB.

Professional teams in the US, rather than Asian teams, are still his top choice, Wang said, adding that he has spent most of his time in the US and might have difficulty adjusting to Asian leagues.

Wang is in Taiwan for a five-day pitching camp in Taipei that started on Monday for local baseball players.

The camp is being hosted by a five-member group from the Florida Baseball Ranch, led by owner Randy Sullivan, at the invitation of the Chinese Professional Baseball League.

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