Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Updated: June 18, 2:57 PM ET
Yankees to fill Wang's spot in rotation with Giese Saturday
NEW YORK -- Chien-Ming Wang sat quietly at his locker with his right foot in a soft cast, crutches resting on a nearby chair.
Asked to describe his emotions, the injured ace of the New York Yankees gave a one-word answer.
"Sad," he whispered.
Wang is expected to be sidelined until at least September after injuring his foot running the bases Sunday in Houston. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday, and the Yankees recalled reliever Billy Traber from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
To fill Wang's spot in the rotation, New York will give right-hander Dan Giese a start Saturday against the Cincinnati Reds. Giese has made three appearances for the Yankees this season, all in relief.
Wang will be difficult to replace. The sinkerball specialist is 8-2 with a 4.07 ERA in 15 starts after winning 19 games each of the past two seasons. He joins injured starters Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy on the DL.
For now, the Yankees probably will try to plug their latest pitching hole from within the organization.
"I think we're going to stick with the young guys. We're doing our reconnaissance work and we'll continue to do that," co-chairman Hal Steinbrenner said Tuesday at a promotional event for the All-Star festivities. "Losing Wang, it hurts. He's our ace, but the good news is that it looks like he's going to be back before the end of the season and I know we'll need him."
As the season progresses, the Yankees might explore a deal for an established starting pitcher. Cleveland ace C.C. Sabathia, last year's AL Cy Young Award winner, could end up on the trade market.
"I don't rule anything out," Steinbrenner said. "We're always looking. We're always out there. We'll come to a decision as a group if something pops up and we'll go from there."
Traber was available for Tuesday night's interleague game against San Diego, giving the Yankees a left-hander in the bullpen for the first time in a while. He made the team out of spring training but was sent down to the minors April 26 after going 0-0 with a 4.50 ERA in 11 appearances for New York.
In other news, Kennedy (strained lat muscle) won't be back in time to pitch in the June 27 doubleheader against the New York Mets, manager Joe Girardi said.
Also, the Yankees hope reliever Brian Bruney will be able to return after the All-Star break. Bruney has been out since April 23 with a foot injury similar to Wang's.
Wang said the pain in his foot is decreasing but doctors told him he'll spend at least six weeks on crutches. After the injury, he received messages from former New York coach Larry Bowa, now with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and ex-Yankees pitching coach Ron Guidry, who razzed Wang.
"He said you can pitch, but you can't run," Wang said.