Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Wei-Yin Chen has not stepped on a mound in the big leagues since May 12 after he strained his oblique muscle. It was certainly an unfortunate injury, especially since Chen has been playing so well this year. The good news is the left-hander is expected to return to the starting rotation soon.
“He’ll take his work-day tomorrow or the next day,” manager Buck Showalter said, according to Orioles.com. “We’ll see how he feels and then we’ll make a decision. If he’s physically ready, we’ll activate him on the fifth or sixth day. We’ve got some different options that present themselves now. We’ll take it day to day.”
Chen allowed just five hits through five innings against the Minnesota Twins on May 12 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. Nobody in the organization wanted to believe it was a serious injury, but that is the exact unfortunate news that was given.
Baltimore is hoping that Chen will be able to make a start sometime next week. The Orioles are pushing for either Wednesday or Thursday, but there really is no rush at this point. The fact is the team needs him to be healthy for the rest of the season in order to compete for the American League East division crown. Allowing him to make a start too soon could be detrimental to all parties involved.
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.