Chien-Ming Wang is probably signing with his new team sometime today or tomorrow. With that in mind, let’s have some fun(!) with his splits and his full season totals.
Wang’s career ERA away from Yankee Stadium is 4.57 in more than 300 innings. His ERA at Yankee Stadium is 3.81 in nearly 365 innings. Clearly he pitched better in the Bronx, except he really didn’t. His FIP at home was actually poorer (4.03) than his road FIP (3.95), although his home xFIP was better and the disparity is nowhere near as drastic as his ERA foretells. As former RotoGraphs contributor – who’s since moved on to greener pastures – Peter Bendix put it: “Nothing Wang with Chien-Ming”.
Here’s a small sample size-influenced tidbit that holds next to nothing in means of predictive value and is simply an observation. In high leverage situations, Wang saw his infield fly ball rate fall off a cliff. Well, that makes sense, since he is a groundballer. Maybe he just zoned in on pitching down in the zone? Nope, or more accurately, the numbers don’t reflect it. His groundball percentage was actually its lowest in high leverage situations. At the same time, so was his home run per fly balls ratio.
Moving away from the splits, Wang is an interesting pitcher. His strikeout totals are unimpressive and his method of pitching combined with a poor infield defense has disaster written all over it. Still, Wang has 670 Major League innings and a career 4.22 xFIP. Yeah, there’s a chance he never recovers to his old form or even to a useful piece, but for what the rumored costs are, it’s a worthwhile risk.
Even if he leaves his heart and horrible puns in New York.
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