Wang and Splits

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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19 Responses to “Wang and Splits”

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  1. Alex says:

    “Here’s a small sample size-influenced tidbit that holds next to nothing in means of predictive value and is simply an observation…”

    So, Wang’s performance suffered from too small of a sample size?

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    • Big Oil says:

      The conclusion I drew is that sometimes Wang just needs to let it all hang out and things will take care of themselves.

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      • Felonius_Monk says:

        Yeah. Sometimes I find Wang goes at it too hard. Given this propensity for getting over-excited, wherever Wang comes this summer, I’m not sure I’d want to be a fan there.

        However, given the current vogue for groundball-inducing pitchers on certain staffs, I’d imagine there still might be a hunger for Wang in some corners of Major League Baseball.

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  2. Rich in NJ says:

    I think Wang has had been less effective when pitching out of the stretch.

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    • Felonius_Monk says:

      Interesting observation. I’ve usually found Wang to have, if anything, greater penetration when forced into the stretch.

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  3. Jim says:

    stop making fun of my cousin

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  4. Linuxit says:

    I think Wang is done as an effect starter until he proves otherwise. He was just wretched last season. Wang’s surgery fixed his torn labrum, but anytime they start cutting into the muscle to get to the torn tendon, it’s going to have scar tissue and he’s have stiffness to deal with. Wang also had shoulder surgery back in 2001.

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  5. Avi says:

    Wang fit our #2 hole well. He will be sorely missed.

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  6. Placebo Abraham says:

    My favorite Wang headline was a few years back: “Torre yanks Wang in 6th.”

    I hope Wang ends up in the NL so that Wang and Pujols can go at it a bunch of times this year.

    Speaking of Albert, Tim McCarver (ugh) once said during a FOX broadcast “Wow these Cardinals players really feed off of Pujols” after some scrappy small white guy followed up a Pujols walk with an extra-base hit and drove him in.

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  7. T says:

    I don’t think the puns are limited to New York

    Speaking of Wang and Splits… Giggity.

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  8. Felonius_Monk says:


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  9. Mofo says:

    Those high leverage numbers will only get worse if Wang is forced to replace the Big Unit in Arizona. That would be like parking a bike in an airplane hangar, metaphorically speaking.

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  10. Joe R says:

    Wang was good at pounding the strike zone with authority in NY

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  11. Jimbo Jones says:

    Wu-Tang Wang ain’t nuttin to scruff with.

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  12. neuter_your_dogma says:

    Are you saying that Wang was a bit soft in high leverage situations?

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  13. LeiterWagnerFasterStronger says:

    Hey… have you ever noticed that his name kinda sounds like an epithet for penis?

    Somebody really ought to exploit that.

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  14. TCQ says:

    God, this is disappointing. Even FanGraphs readers can’t stop jerking their Wang around.

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