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Wang begins transition back to starter

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ST. LOUIS -- Brewers left-hander Wei-Chung Wang was scheduled to begin a Minor League rehabilitation assignment at Rookie-level Arizona on Sunday and will be stretched out as a starter, according to assistant general manager Gord Ash.

Wang has been on the disabled list since July 11 with left shoulder tightness.

The start of his 30-day rehab assignment was the first step in Wang's move from seldom-used Rule 5 Draft pick to promising Brewers prospect. The 22-year-old amassed enough active days on Milwaukee's Major League roster before the DL assignment to fulfill the requirements of the Rule 5 Draft, which say a player must spend an entire season in the big leagues or be offered back to his original team -- in this case, the Pirates.

Even though Wang pitched in the rookie Gulf Coast League for Pittsburgh last season, the Brewers' plan from the beginning was to coax Wang through the year as a reliever before returning him to a starting role in the Minor Leagues in 2015. With a fastball that reaches 93 mph and a quality changeup, they view him as a top pitching prospect.

Wang posted an 11.12 ERA in 13 relief appearances for the Brewers. His ERA was driven up by outings April 17 at Pittsburgh and May 19 at Atlanta in which he was charged with 11 of his 21 earned runs.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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