Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Wei-Yin Chen left Sunday’s contest against the Minnesota Twins with a strained right oblique. How serious is the injury, and will it affect his next scheduled start?
The 27-year-old has been Baltimore’s most consistent pitcher this year. He has tossed only one bad outing in eight starts this season. Not to mention, he has the best overall numbers among the starting pitchers. In fact, Chen has only given up more than three earned runs in one start so far in 2013, which came against the Seattle Mariners on May 1. Other than that, the left-hander has been stellar.
Chen allowed just five hits through five innings and was well on his way to completing his first complete game of the season. However, while he was walking off the mound after the Orioles recorded the third out in the fifth inning, Chen could be seen clutching his right side.
“It’s never happened to me before and I can tell I had a really good first four innings, and I definitely feel good physically,” Chen said, according to Orioles.com. “Unfortunately in the fifth inning, I don’t know what happened.”
The good news is the starter was not in any pain after the game. With that being said, Baltimore will not know the extent of the injury until Monday morning. If it is for sure an oblique strain, and not cramps like manager Buck Showalter is hoping, then Chen could very well spend time on the disabled list. That would be a disaster for the Orioles, who are currently tied with the New York Yankees in the win column for the lead in the American League East.
“I didn’t hear oblique, I’m hearing a cramp maybe,” Showalter told Orioles.com. “[Head athletic trainer] Richie [Bancells] thinks it’s going to be one or the other. We’ll take a look at it tomorrow and see where we are, get an evaluation. I’m only thinking good things.”
Chen is 3-3 with a 3.04 earned run average, 27 strikeouts and a .260 opponent’s batting average in 47 1/3 innings this season.