Wang to work out mechanics in Florida
Right-hander set to pitch at Yanks' Minor League complex
NEW YORK -- As the Yankees attempt to figure out what has gone awry with Chien-Ming Wang's mechanics, the struggling right-hander has been scheduled to pitch an extended spring training game on Thursday in Tampa, Fla.
The Yankees announced on Tuesday that they will send Wang to their Minor League complex, less than 24 hours after deciding that Wang -- who has logged a 34.50 ERA in three starts -- would be skipped this weekend against the Red Sox.
"He has struggled, and we've talked about the importance of getting him right," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "We believe this is another step in doing it. Instead of not pitching him, we believe he has to pitch and get this right."
Wang is scheduled to throw approximately 100 pitches, and Girardi said that Wang would be examined after that start to see what the next step is.
"The important thing is the consistency of his sinker," Girardi said. "He's gotten up in the zone and that's where his stuff flattens out. The importance is seeing his sinker down with movement. We'll evaluate it after that."
The Yankees have not announced their starter for April 28 at Detroit, and general manager Brian Cashman seemed to hint that it will not be Wang, saying that he would be "surprised" if Wang's stay in Tampa is a one-and-done.
"Obviously we need his mechanics to be down right, and have a good solid outing where that sinker looks right," Cashman said. "I don't think it's going to be something that'll be, 'Pow -- it's fixed right away.' We'll see."
While Wang has repeatedly said that he is healthy -- he did so again on Tuesday -- Cashman said that he is not completely convinced. The Yankees medical staff will continue to test Wang, making sure that last June's right foot injury is not affecting him in any way.
"I'm sure it's going to take some time," Cashman said. "The first [step] is to try and determine what's wrong. His velocity is down, his command is off. That could indicate health. He feels so far that he's healthy, so we're evaluating his mechanics.
"... Those indicators, you can't ignore. I've been down that road before. I don't rule out health being an issue. As of right now, everything is on the table and we're in full laboratory mode."
Wang said that his confidence has not been affected by his struggles, but Girardi said that he is clearly "chapped" by the experience.
"I don't think it's what he necessarily wants to do," Girardi said. "He wants to pitch. I think he understands that we're doing what we think is best to get his stuff right. It's hard and it's humbling when you're struggling and they ask you to do something that's out of the norm."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.