Wei-Yin Chen throws eight scoreless innings last night and is optioned today to Single-A Frederick. It appears to make no sense on the surface.
Dig a little deeper.
Chen complained of overall body fatigue on June 10, and the Orioles don’t want him to break down. Chen and Miguel Gonzalez have been shortened up in previous seasons. The Orioles are pretty good at it.
Manager Buck Showalter said he didn’t like the things Chen was describing on the 10th. He also said the left-hander understands the move being made.
Chen will throw three or four innings Saturday at Frederick and start for the Orioles on June 26 against the Indians at Camden Yards. He misses only one start.
Showalter said the decision was tough, especially with Chen pitching so well, “but the whole idea is to have him pitch well again and again and again.”
The move also allows the Orioles to create a 25-man roster spot for outfielder Chris Parmelee and for Chen to avoid the Blue Jays this weekend. They feast on left-handers, and Chen is 1-3 with a 5.40 ERA in four starts against them, including 0-2 with a 4.91 ERA in two starts at Rogers Centre.
Mike Wright is expected to start Friday’s series opener in Toronto, with Chris Tillman pitching on Sunday. Kevin Gausman figures to start Saturday, as I predicted, if he’s OK tonight in Frederick.
Gonzalez will throw a bullpen session on Thursday in Philadelphia and likely start for an affiliate on Saturday before coming off the disabled list June 25 and facing the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
Jonathan Schoop was transferred to the 60-day disabled list, but he’s eligible to be activated on Wednesday, so the move doesn’t delay his return. He’ll begin an injury rehab assignment Friday at Double-A Bowie.
Center fielder Adam Jones is pretty banged up and Showalter wanted to give him the night off. Showalter indicated that it could be a two-day rest period, though Jones figures to balk at that idea.
“We’ll see what tomorrow brings,” Showalter said.
Showalter said no tests are scheduled for Jones at this time.