Look, I love the kid. I love everything about “#WCWW” and the fact that he’s the first player ever to make the MLB team from a rookie team in major league history, but facts are facts.
Wei-Chung Wang is absolutely killing the Milwaukee Brewers right now.
It isn’t immediately obvious, the Brewers own the best record in the big leagues at 20-7 and are already up 6.5 games in the NL central. Francisco Rodriguez just tied the MLB record for saves before the end of April, and the Brewers’ bullpen has one of the lowest ERA’s in the MLB.
However, it’s all coming at a potentially serious price. Because Ron Roenicke is hesitant to use Wang, the rest of the bullpen is beginning to be over worked.
Reliever Tyler Thornburg has already pitched in 14 games this year with 14.2 innings pitched. Take that in comparison to Cardinals reliever Kevin Siegrist who has pitched in 14 games but only has 11.2 innings pitched, or Pirates reliever Tony Watson who has only thrown 11.1 innings.
I know that it doesn’t seem that big of a deal, but eventually the extra innings are going to bite the Brewers, whether in the form of an injury or just an increased ERA.
Especially when you consider the fact that for the most part the starting rotation has been able to pitch deep into games, if that stops (like, I don’t know, today with Matt Garza’s so far horrific outing in St.Louis) then the bullpen will start to get seriously taxed.
The reason Wang is on the roster to begin with is the Rule 5 draft. I don’t want to go into too much depth explaining it here, but basically because the Brewers took Wang from the Pirates in the Rule 5 draft they can’t take him off the roster if they want to keep him. If Wang falls off the roster the Pirates would get him back (because the Rule 5 draft is basically MLB’s version of switching up the backyard football teams if one team has dominated the entire afternoon.)
Anyway, it might be time for the Brewers to get rid of Wang and move on. Even the statisticians are starting to say that the Brewers have a strong chance of winning the division this year, and the Brew-Crew needs every win they can get. It’s not as if Wang is a great player right now, he is just on the team by circumstance (again, not a personal attack, I’m all about Wei-Chung Wang Wednesdays) and every time he comes in I imagine the entirety of Brewer nation has a collective sigh.
Not saying he can’t be good, or that he doesn’t have a place on the Brewers, he had a 1-2-3 inning just the other day. But let’s be honest with ourselves, if the Brewers have a 3 run lead against the Cardinals any Brewer fan would rather see Tyler Thornburg come on instead of Wang.
I personally have absolutely no confidence in him… right now. In three or four years I can easily see him being a solid reliever for the Crew, just not right now. If the Brewers weren’t off to such a great start I would honestly want Milwaukee to hold on to him, but this has the potential to be a special season and Roenicke and company need to make sure to capitalize on this opportunity.
It might be time to let Wei-Chung go.
But if he doesn’t, Brewers bullpen please keep giving us Wei-Chung Wednesdays