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Brewers aren't giving up on Rule 5 pick Wang

The SportsXchange

MILWAUKEE -- Looking to jumpstart Wei-Chung Wang's stalled progress, the Milwaukee Brewers had the left-hander throw a simulated game Wednesday afternoon at Miller Park.

Wang, a 21-year-old Rule 5 pick plucked from the Pittsburgh Pirates' organization in December, spent last season in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League. However, he was impressive enough during Cactus League play to earn a spot on the Brewers' Opening Day roster.

He has struggled mightily in sporadic action, allowing 15 earned runs over 7 2/3 innings covering six appearances.

Under Major League Baseball rules, as a Rule 5 selection, Wang must be kept on the active 25-man roster for the entire season or be offered back to the Pirates. Retaining him in the majors is a difficult proposition for a team leading the National League Central and chasing down a postseason berth.

Still, after losing their first-round draft pick a year ago to sign right-hander Kyle Lohse, the Brewers are committed to finding a way to win with Wang.

"It's hard, because we still need him out there," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "And in a game that we need to get some innings out of him, we want to be sure he's able to throw those."

Wang threw 20 pitches Wednesday, most of them to third baseman Aramis Ramirez, who is working his way back from a strained left hamstring.

"He threw some really good breaking balls today, some good changeups," Roenicke said. "It's something to try to progress his development."

If the Brewers don't keep him on the major league roster, the Pirates can reacquire Wang for $25,000.

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