Tigers sign Taiwanese pitcher Chiang to minor-league deal

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News

Detroit – Even though it was just happenstance, it was another stark reminder of the wide gulf between the Tigers and title contention.

Shao-Ching Chiang

As the Yankees were holding an introductory press conference to welcome $324 million man Gerrit Cole Wednesday, the Tigers announced they had signed 26-year-old Taiwanese starting pitcher Shao-Ching Chiang – a career minor-league recently released by the Indians.  

Chiang, a soft-tossing right-hander, had been with the Indians since 2011. He had Tommy John surgery in 2012 and spent the last two seasons at Triple-A Columbus. He has pitched in 664 minor-league games and posted a 1.25 WHIP.

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But his stuff, a variety of off-speed pitches, most of which have sinking action, played better against lower-level hitters. Last season at Columbus, he was 9-9 in 26 starts, with a 5.15 ERA, a 1.53 WHIP allowing 19 home runs in 131 innings.

He has a low strikeout (8.8 per nine) rate, but a high ground ball rate (56 percent).

Though he has been invited to Tigers' big-league camp in February, he is expected to provide depth in a rotation at Triple-A Toledo that will include the Tigers’ top pitching prospects Casey Mize, Matt Manning, Alex Faedo and possibly Tarik Skubal.  

Twitter @cmccosky