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Brewers can’t afford to keep Wang

May 22, 2014

Wei-Chung Wang does not belong in a major league bullpen.

It’s that simple.

That doesn’t mean Wang will never belong. The Milwaukee Brewers reliever likely has a bright future as a left-handed reliever. But at this point in his career, he simply is not ready to face big-league hitters on a regular basis.

It’s not fair to anyone, least of all Wang, to pretend otherwise.

The only reason Wang remains on the Brewers’ 25-man roster is the stipulation in the Rule 5 draft that requires them to keep him in the majors or offer him back to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

But Wang’s development is being arrested by a lack of opportunities to pitch, and the Brewers’ bullpen is weakened by having a pitcher on the roster that can’t be trusted in close games.

Having never pitched above Class A ball before this season, the 22-year-old Wang is best suited to pitch when needed in blowout games. But the Brewers don’t play many of them, win or lose.

Milwaukee’s three losses by six or more runs? Wang gave up at least four runs in each of them.

With the Brewers trailing 5-2 in the ninth against the Pirates on April 17, Wang gave up six runs in the inning to make it an 11-2 blowout. On April 30, Wang entered a 4-3 game and gave up four runs over three innings in a 9-3 loss to the Cardinals.

Finally, in Monday’s game, Wang recorded just two outs while surrendering five runs to make it a 9-3 loss to the Braves.

Wang was worth a shot. He has talent.

But the Brewers need a big-league-ready arm that can help them contend now. Not in three years.

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