Showalter confirms Chen as Sunday starter

BOSTON - Remove “TBA” from Sunday’s starter at Yankee Stadium.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter confirmed this afternoon that left-hander Wei-Yin Chen will take the mound in the series finale against the Yankees after being optioned earlier today.

Chen will throw a bullpen session at 11 a.m. Thursday and meet up with the team over the weekend. Because he started last night, he will be working on normal rest in the Bronx.

Chen already has left the team with his interpreter, Tim Lin. Showalter said he had to explain the reasoning behind the roster move.

“Initially, I think he was thinking he had a bad outing last night and we were sending him to the Gulf Coast League,” Showalter said. “That wasn’t the case at all. His service time allowed us to send him there, whereas a guy like (Ryan) Flaherty could only go to the (South Atlantic) League.

“He understands. We would have liked to send him to Baltimore, but that wouldn’t have been legal.”

Showalter also said that Kevin Gausman, who was recalled today from Triple-A Norfolk, will remain in a relief role with the Orioles.

“He’s going to pitch in the bullpen as we stand right now,” Showalter said. “We’ve been trying to figure out a way to get him up here, as you’ve seen with some of the inning monitoring we’ve done with him. But this is the first option we’ve had to do that.

“Tonight, we look at him as a reliever, but in the future we still think he’s going to be a good starter for us. But you never know what path your career takes down the road. Tommy Hunter, Jim Johnson. But right now, we’re certainly looking at that, because that’s where it’s the hardest to find.

“He’s had a lot of things thrown at him that he can handle. I think everybody’s done a good job monitoring the innings and getting him where he needs to be. This will be a good way to finish up his season here, hopefully through October.”

Showalter said he’s not anticipating further roster moves before Sunday unless executive vice president Dan Duquette “has something up his sleeve.”

Wilson Betemit’s return to the lineup tonight means more to the Orioles than simply adding another bat. Betemit is a popular figure in the clubhouse.

“He’s got a great heart,” Showalter said. “Wilson a nice man. He’s been through a lot this year, so I’m glad something positive in his life his happening.”

As reported last night, infielder Ryan Flaherty will play two games with low Single-A Delmarva before joining Single-A Frederick on Saturday for a three-game series that concludes the Keys’ season.

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