Back in December, the Milwaukee Brewers selected pitcher Wei-Chung Wang from the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. The Taiwanese southpaw fashioned some decent numbers last season for the Pirates Rookie team in the Gulf Coast League, including a WHIP of 0.866 and a K:BB ratio of better than 10:1.
Unfortunately, those numbers have not translated to Major League success this year, as the 22-year-old is scuffling along with a WHIP of 2.561 and an ERA of 12.51 in ten outings for the Brewers.
And with the team struggling to hold its lead over the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Central–3.5 games at last check–now is the time to make a move to get the ‘not-ready-for-prime-time’ Wang off the big club’s roster.
Although the Brewers brain trust sees potential in the youngster, he has not shown much to this point, having only three successful outings in the first half of the season. He had a single 1-2-3 inning, and that was against the lowly Cubs in late April.
His stat line to this point shows 29 hits in 13 2/3 innings, with ten Ks and six walks. Opposing batters have taken him out of the yard five times thus far.
The Brewers currently have a trio of lefties besides Wang on the 25-man roster: Zach Duke, Tom Gorzelanny, and Will Smith. It’s not like manager Ron Roenicke needs a quartet of portsiders, especially if one of them is liable to give up hits and runs at a prodigious rate.
Doug Melvin has a choice: he can offer Wang back to the Pirates for $25,000, or he can try to work a trade with Pittsburgh GM Neal Huntington. The Buccos seemingly have the Brewers over a barrel–pardon the pun–but it is conceivable that a deal amenable to both could come to fruition.
If option ‘B’ is chosen, Milwaukee can send Wang down to Appleton or Brevard County for some much-needed seasoning.
Moving Wang off the 25-man roster would free up space for a position player, as it seems like the Brewers skipper is forever short on his bench.
Not saying that this move is life or death, but it could go a long way in determining how the Brewers finish their season this year.