Wang strong in simulated game Wednesday

Wang strong in simulated game Wednesday

WASHINGTON -- Nationals right-hander Chien-Ming Wang threw 35 pitches in a simulated game on Wednesday in Viera, Fla., and didn't have any problems throwing the baseball, according to manager Davey Johnson. It was the first time Wang faced hitters since suffering a left hamstring strain on March 15 in a Grapefruit League game against the Yankees.

Johnson said Wang's arm was strong, and that will allow him to start a rehab assignment within five days. He is expected to pitch three innings. It's not known which Minor League affiliate Wang will pitch for. Johnson predicts the rehab assignment will not last 30 days.

Once he is ready to return to the Major Leagues, it will be interesting to see if Wang will be in the rotation. Entering Wednesday's action, the current rotation had a 1.91 ERA. The fifth starter, Ross Detwiler, has allowed one earned run in 10 innings.

Johnson said the Nationals will have a good problem once Wang is ready to return to action.

"It's kind of a nice problem being that crowded. No doubt about it, but that is going to be a [general manager Mike] Rizzo problem," Johnson said about the rotation decision.