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Washington Nationals put Chien-Ming Wang into expanded line-up

TAIPEI -- Taiwanese pitcher Chien-Ming Wang was added to the Washington Nationals' 40-man expanded active roster Wednesday, but after a poor run in the minor leagues, it is unlikely he will be used in key games in the Nationals' pennant run.

The Nationals, who currently have the best record in the major leagues and seem headed for the NL East division title, are expected to use Wang as a long reliever or call on him if the team runs out of pitching options in a game.

Unless Wang surprises the Nationals coaches down the stretch, however, Washington is not likely to re-sign the 32-year-old, who has a long injury history and has struggled recently with his control.

Wang suffered a serious shoulder injury in mid-2009 with the New York Yankees that kept him sidelined for nearly two years, but a respectable run of 11 starts at the end of the 2011 season convinced the Nationals to give him a one-year, US$4 million deal for the 2012 season.

After getting off to a good start in spring training, he injured his left hamstring and was put on the disabled list, never to regain his form after that.

Wang returned to the majors in late May, but after compiling a 2 3 record with an ERA of 7.61, he was put on the disabled list again in early July for a right hip strain.

When he came off the disabled list, he was assigned to the minor leagues for a rehab stint. In nine starts for the Nationals' double-A affiliate, the Harrisburg Senators, he has gone 1-5 with a 6.75 ERA and yielded five runs or more in four of the last five games he pitched.

Wang was at his best in 2006 and 2007, when he won 19 games each season for the New York Yankees.

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