In defense of Wei-Chung Wang


Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

They say he lurks around and he’ll be there for you when you least expect it. Or he’ll be there when you absolutely have no desire for him to show up.

I’m talking about Murphy’s Law and about what Mr. Murphy did to the Milwaukee Brewers.

Last night was not a good game for the Brew Crew by any stretch of the imagination and particularly it was rough for Wei-Chung Wang. In his first major league outing, he pitched a scoreless inning against the St. Louis Cardinals. Unfortunately, Wang didn’t even come close to repeating in his second major league appearance.

Wang was ultimately tagged for two home-runs, one of them being a three-run shot by Pirates’ slugger Pedro Alvarez. A lot of Wang’s stuff looked up in the zone and for guys like Alvarez, that’s right in their power house. It doesn’t matter who you are, Clayton Kershaw or Wei-Chung Wang, a fastball up in the zone will leave the yard. Can we necessarily get mad at Wang? I don’t think so.

Yes, the Brewers took a gamble on the 21-year-old lefty, but I still believe it was a risk worth taking. The front office clearly saw something about Wang back in December that made them pick him in the Rule 5 Draft. He has potential and a lot at that, so there’s no reason to give up on him at all. He’s going to work through a lot of rough patches having skipped the minor leagues, something the team knew going into the 2014 season.

There’s absolutely no reason to rant about Wang. Nobody should expect him to be this lights out pitcher in his first year and if you do, well then I do feel sorry for you. Will the Brewers keep him the entire season? I don’t know, but giving up on him now is far from a logical answer. Yeah, he was tagged for six runs in one inning, but hey, he got through that inning. Plus, he hasn’t walked a batter in his first two major league innings, so that’s a positive.

I can’t tell you how many people I saw on Twitter saying that Wang is terrible and should be given back to Pittsburgh. Really? You’re basing this on one bad inning? What pitcher doesn’t have a bad inning? I mean, look at Rob Wooten. He’s been up here before and was also tagged by the Pirates as well. It’s somewhat of a double standard, but it is what it is.

Wang’s ceiling could be tremendously high for the Brewers and we may never know it if we continue to bash him. What if he becomes a starter in the near future, or maybe even the ace of the rotation? I know that’s a bit of a stretch, but look at Johan Santana, another Rule 5 Draft pick. For now, Wang will just pitch out of the bullpen sparingly, but even then, it’s all about how the next few outings go, not this one last night.

I’m not sure what future Wang has with the club, but last night should not be your only impression of him. Some people think the Brewers are doing him wrong by making him skip the minors, but it’s either that or give him back to the Pirates. For now, let’s see how he can rebound from this, because that will tell us a lot more about him as a pitcher over one bad night in Pittsburgh.