VIERA FL : Chien-Ming Wang #40 of the Washington Nationals poses for a portrait during Spring Training Photo Day at Space Coast Stadium in Viera Florida. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Wang is getting Tom Gorzelanny's slot in the Nationals' rotation, which hardly seems fair since Gorzelanny's actually a pretty good pitcher, except a) Gorzelanny didn't pitch well in his last start, his first since coming off the DL with an ankle injury, and b) there seems to be a pretty good chance that the Nationals will trade at least one starting pitcher this weekend, which will open another slot for Gorzelanny.
Specifically, apparently there's some interest, out there in TradeDeadlineLand, in Jason Marquis and perhaps even Livan Hernandez. And who knows, maybe Wang's start tonight is something of a tryout; if he looks healthy and effective -- his results in minor-league rehab outings were mixed -- some contender might think he's worth a Grade B prospect. Money certainly isn't a consideration, as Wang's owed roughly $300,000 for the rest of this season.
Of course, it's been a while since Wang's actually been healthy and effective. He didn't pitch at all in 2010, and combined for just 137 innings in 2008 and '9. But he did win 38 games in 2006 and '7, thanks to one of the best hard sinkers in recent memory.
Then he hurt his foot, and his hips, and finally his shoulder (badly). Seriously shoulder injuries often aren't just shrugged off, even with today's miraculous medical marvels. But at least he's pitching again. Wang's confounded us before. Here's hoping he can do it again.