The Baltimore Orioles got Taylor Teagarden back yesterday, and they may be getting other reinforcements soon. Wei-Yin Chen, who is on the disabled list with an oblique strain, is making progress in his rehab. The first big hurdle was cleared yesterday as he threw from 65-70 feet.
Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com says Chen threw 25 pitches yesterday and felt no pain. He will do the same today, and he will likely begin to increase the distance from which he throws as the week progresses. Eventually, Chen can then move to throwing from a mound. He is still probably a couple weeks away from a return, but this was a step in the right direction.
Chen has been on the DL since early May. He was having a solid season when he strained his right oblique. The problem with an oblique strain is it can keep a player on the DL for the minimum 15 days, or it can cost a player months. It's all a matter of severity and how the player responds. In Chen's case, he is on pace for a relatively normal recovery time.
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In eight starts this season, Chen was 3-3 with a 3.04 ERA. This is just his second Major League season after spending the early part of his career in Japan. Chen went 12-11 with a 4.02 ERA in 2012 - not bad for a rookie entering the Majors in the American League East. He is 27 years old, so the Orioles hope they will have plenty of time for him to continue to improve and help the team.
And Baltimore will need all the help they can get. The American League East, thought to potentially be the weakest in baseball coming into the season, may be the best. The Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays, and the Orioles all have records over .500. They are all within 4 games of one another. The division could be won by whatever team remains the healthiest.
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