Blue Jays-White Sox Preview
Chien-Ming Wang hasn't been a significant part of a major league rotation in a few years. Tuesday night provides him with another chance, however.
The 33-year-old opted out of his minor league contract with the Yankees and signed with Toronto earlier this week. He had been pitching for New York's Triple-A team in Scranton Wilkes-Barre, where he went 4-4 with a 2.33 ERA in nine starts.
Wang won 54 games with the Yankees from 2005-2008, but had struggled with injuries more recently, starting 25 games over the past three seasons and posting a 6.68 ERA for Washington last year.
But perhaps as much as any other team, Toronto could afford to take a flyer to try to help its beleaguered pitching staff. Blue Jays relievers have pitched 63 innings over the last 12 games and the rotation also remains one of the worst in baseball with a 5.31 ERA. R.A. Dickey was tagged for seven runs and 10 hits - including two homers by Adam Dunn - over five innings in Toronto's 10-6 loss Monday, which was delayed an hour and 10 minutes because of fog.
''Obviously like I've said before it's tough to tell you all each and every day how good you feel and you look up and it's 0 for 4,'' said Dunn, 7 for 11 over his last three games. ''Tonight was good. It felt good. It feels better to get this game in and win.''
Toronto also learned some bad news as Brandon Morrow - out since May 28 with tightness in his right forearm - is expected to miss another two to three weeks, according to the team's official website. General manager Alex Anthopoulos hopes Wang can prove to be an innings-eater.
"(He'll throw) a lot of strikes, get a lot of ground balls," Anthopoulos, who said Wang isn't guaranteed any role past Tuesday, told the team's official website. "He's not going to strike too many guys out, but he's going to induce contact and he should pitch deep into the game if he's having success."
In addition to Dunn's fifth career four-hit game and first in over two years Monday, Alexei Ramirez also provided three hits and Alejandro De Aza drove in a pair of runs. Ramirez is 17 for 42 (.405) in his last 12 games versus Toronto, while De Aza is 19 for 49 (.388) over his last 12 games overall with nine RBIs.
Chicago's run total was a season high, and the club had scored more than five just once over the last 18 games.
Hoping to receive a solid backing will be starter Jose Quintana (3-2, 3.95 ERA), who has received an average of 2.51 runs of support over his last seven starts.
He allowed three homers for the first time in his career Thursday, getting charged with four runs and seven hits over 7 2-3 innings in a 5-4 loss to Oakland. The left-hander is 2-1 with a 1.86 ERA in three starts against Toronto, including a 7-0 road win April 17 in which he threw 6 2-3 innings.
Jose Bautista - who also homered twice Monday and matched a career best with five RBIs - accounted for the only home run Quintana has surrendered to the Blue Jays.
Wang is 3-0 with a 3.00 ERA over three starts versus the White Sox but hasn't faced them since 2008.
Edwin Encarnacion has hit safely in 13 of 14 games with 13 RBIs.