Wang makes rehab start with Yankees

By Ashley Teatum / Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees | May 12, 2009 6:57 PM ET

MOOSIC, Pa. - Chien-Ming Wang aced his first test in Triple-A.

Wang did a "great job" in his rehab start with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman said.

The Charlotte Knights shutout the Triple-A team, 1-0, Tuesday night at PNC Field, but Wang pitched a solid six innings, allowing only three hits and walking three.

"He's definitely heading in the right direction," Cashman said. "He had great mound presence and showed some great tempo. I thought his slider was terrific. Obviously he did a great job."

Wang went on the 15-Day Disabled List with a hip injury on April 25 after he allowed 23 runs in his first three starts, all losses.

Wang threw 27 pitches over the first three innings. Wang threw 49 of his 82 pitches for strikes, coming in just under the estimated pitch count the Yankees had set for him. Cashman said Wang could have made it to 100 in a postgame bullpen session.

The only bump for Wang came in the fourth when Josh Kroeger lined a single up the middle that clipped Wang's left leg. Yankees pitching coach Scott Aldred and manager Dave Miley came out to watch Wang throw a few practice pitches before agreeing to leave him in.

"I was concerned when he got hit on the meat of the calf," Cashman said. "He took a pretty good shot there, but we were able to talk to our staff in-game, and watched him inning by inning after that.

"As long as his mechanics were good, we were going to keep going with him. If he stiffened up, and it became a problem, we'd pull him out. We just wanted to protect the player."

Wang said he was "a little sore, but not bad."

With the start, Wang also said he had "more balance" than he did in New York. Cashman would not say whether another Scranton/Wilkes-Barre start was in store for Wang, and neither would the pitcher.

"(We'll take it) day by day," Cashman said. "We'll see how he feels tomorrow. I was happy with what I saw here. I'll talk to Chien rather than announce anything right now."

Velocity was something Wang could work on as well, Cashman said.

"Velocity's obviously important for most pitchers," Cashman said. "He threw well today, and he showed more arm strength than he did before.

"This whole episode becomes a distant memory and he can be taking the ball every five days in New York and do what he does best which is running about 200+ innings and 18 wins a year."

Wang did not know how fast he had been throwing. When he was told the radar clocked him in at about 90-93 mph, he said, "That's normal."

Wang combined his sinker and slider in the game against Charlotte, notching six strikeouts.

"He was pretty basic," Scranton/Wilkes-Barre catcher Chris Stewart said. "You know, sinker guys, they try to get outs with their sinkers. He was just outstanding out there. If the guy's got a good pitch, you want to go with it. It doesn't matter how you get guys out.

"If you're throwing a slider for strikes and is able to get guys out, we're going to keep going to it until they prove that they're going to stop making outs with it."

Todd Linden, Juan Miranda, Austin Jackson and Luis Nunez posted a hit each for the Yankee offense.

This is the third straight shut-out for the team, which has gone 35.1 innings without scoring a run-the longest streak since 1994, when the Red Barons went 26 innings without a run.

"It's going to come around," said Linden, the Yankees' right fielder. "It's just a matter of time. We should be doing more than we're doing, but I'm confident that it will turn around."

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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