Saturday, March 24, 2007

Wang to the DL

The fact that the Yankees' starting rotation has injury trouble as spring training winds down is no surprise. What is surprising, however, is who has been struck.

Former Thunder star and 2006 AL Cy Young runner-up Chien-Ming Wang will start the season on the disabled list. According to published reports, Wang was diagnosed with a Grade 1 tear of his right hamstring after pulling up during a workout on Friday, and isn't expected to return until at least late April.

Combined with Humberto Sanchez's health problems, and the Yankees' minor league starting rotations are now really in flux. Jeff Karstens is now pretty much a lock to start the season in the Yankees' rotation. If Joe Torre decides to keep a long reliever, Darrell Rasner would appear to be the guy there too.

This leaves Phil Hughes, Tyler Clippard, and Ross Ohlendorf as the only certainties to start for Triple-A Scranton. Steven White and Matt DeSalvo, given their prior experience at Triple-A, would appear to be the most logical candidates to fill the other two spots. Or the Yankees could sign a free agent in this final week of spring training.

White and DeSalvo were two guys who, as recently as earlier this week, had a chance to be sent back to Double-A to start the season, if for no other reason than getting caught in the numbers game (especially in White's case). Ditto for Jeff Marquez and/or Alan Horne in A-ball. And I had heard that there was also the possibility of Jason Jones being assigned to Trenton's bullpen, which is where he finished last season.

Now all of that is up in the air. Just one more thing to make things interesting when I arrive in Tampa tomorrow night.

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