Marlins’ Wei-Yin Chen Out Indefinitely

Posted: May 13, 2017 in Uncategorized
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When the Marlins placed left-hander Wei-Yin Chen on the disabled list with a tired arm last Saturday, their hope was that he’d only miss one start. Now, after Chen suffered a setback during a bullpen session Saturday, the Marlins are unsure when (or if) he’ll pitch again this year, reports Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald.

Chen’s arm “just doesn’t feel right,” according to manager Don Mattingly, who added: “At this point, you feel like you really can’t count on him in the near future when it happens like this. Obviously, this is turning into more than what we thought it was going to be.”

Prior to going on the DL, Chen had been pitching through a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament, though an MRI didn’t reveal any serious damage. Nevertheless, he’s now all but certain to miss significant time for the second year, which is also his second season in Miami. Chen, whom the low-payroll Marlins signed to a five-year, $80MM contract two offseasons ago, sat out two months in 2016 on account of an elbow issue. When he was on the mound, the former Oriole posted strikeout (7.3 per nine innings), walk (1.75 per nine) and ground-ball rates (40.5) in line with career norms, but his ERA ballooned from a career-best 3.34 in 2015 to a personal-worst 4.96 over 123 1/3 innings. While Chen has fared a bit better at preventing runs this year across 27 frames, his improved ERA (4.33) has come with a worse K/9 (6.67), BB/9 (3.0) and grounder rate (37.2 percent).
Given his arm troubles and on-field difficulties as a Marlin, Chen looks like a shoo-in to remain with the team past this season. Chen’s contract includes the ability to opt out of the final three years of the deal next offseason, but exiting the pact would mean leaving a guaranteed $52MM on the table. With Chen out of commission, the Marlins will likely recall fellow southpaw Justin Nicolino from Triple-A to fill the void in their rotation, per Spencer.

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