Chen and the Starting Pitching

Wei-Yin Chen #16 of the Baltimore Orioles delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning of the game on May 12, 2013 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The Baltimore Orioles had another successful weekend, taking yet another series against the Minnesota Twins. They won two out of three games, thanks to the offense and work by the bullpen. The starting pitching has not been great; however, on Sunday, Wei-Yin Chen was rolling and perhaps headed another brilliant performance until the fifth inning.

Towards the end of the frame, Chen looked to be in pain. From media accounts, he exited the game with an oblique strain and it is unknown the severity of the injury at this time. It was a moment that made me wince and say to myself, “oh s**t, please tell me he’s not gone for a long time…”

So far, Chen is the one starter who can be counted on to go deep into games. The other arms in the rotation – while they have not been horrendous – have not been nearly as consistent as Chen.

Based on that, as well as injuries, the Orioles once again having relying on spot starts and using the depth in the minor league system to patch things together. They are 23-15 and trail the surprising New York Yankees by a game in the division — which is great; however, if the Orioles are to keep up their successful start to the season so far into the summer, they’ll need to address those problems if they become serious.

If Chen is hurt and on the shelf for a significant amount of time, Chris Tillman and especially Jason Hammel will need to step it up. I believe pitching is 90 percent of the game and the offense can’t carry them a team all of the time.

The organization handled their roster brilliantly last season and may need to follow the same script again in 2013.