2012 was a difficult year for Chien-Ming Wang. After finally battling back from various injuries that kept him out for the better part of three seasons, he fell victim to the injury bug again, missing significant time due to injury. Wang’s performance also suffered, as he had a 2-3 record with a 6.68 ERA, a 2.01 WHIP, and a K/BB ratio of 1.00 in just 32.1 innings. He began the season projected for a 4.68 ERA and 75 IP in 14 starts to go with a 2:1 strikeouts to walks ratio according to ZiPS.
September 30, 2012; St. Louis, MO. USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Chien-Ming Wang (40) throws to a St. Louis Cardinals batter during the third inning at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals won 10-4. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE
Wang started the season injured, but reclaimed his role as the team’s fifth starter from Ross Detwiler when he became healthy. He made his season debut in relief on May 25th, and his first start on May 30th. Wang then pitched regularly until June 19th, when he allowed five earned runs over 3.1 IP and was once again supplanted by Detwiler in the rotation. During his tenure as a starter, Wang averaged about 4.1 IP per start, going 1-3 with a 6.62 ERA. He made two more relief appearances until he suffered a hip injury at the end of June, which kept him to only minor league rehab appearances until he returned as a reliever on September 19th. He would make one more start and one more relief appearance before his season ended.
Season Highlight: His outing on September 19th, when he pitched 2.1 shutout innings in relief, the only time he did not allow a run in an appearance this season. Seriously, it was not a good year.
Next Year: After this year, Wang is a free agent, and given his performance this year, it is difficult to see the team resigning him.