BALTIMORE --- The Orioles chose a most unusual way of making room on the 25-man roster for Chris Parmelee. They optioned Wei-Yin Chen to Frederick.
Chen will pitch three or four innings for the Keys on Saturday and return to the Orioles on June 26. He must stay in the minor leagues 10 days after the optioning.
“Before his last outing (June 10), not this one, he was complaining of just some overall body fatigue,” Showalter said. “We’ve tried to take a little break with everybody.”
The Orioles will often option pitchers near the All-Star break to regulate their energy.
“The number one thing is Wei-Yin and making sure he’s around in September and October, pitching at the level he pitched last night,” Showalter said.
“He understands completely…He’s pitching well, and will again. The whole idea is to have him pitch well again and again and again.”
On Monday night, Chen equaled his career high with eight innings.
“We also found out through the years with him that after he’s had an extended outing, you get to know the guys’ pitch counts and innings, what usually follows,” Showalter said.
“With Wei-Yin we’ve got a pretty good sampling. We really didn’t like the description of some of the things he was feeling after his start on the 10th. He felt a lot better last night.”
With this move, the Orioles will keep Chen away from the Toronto Blue Jays. He’s 1-3 with a 5.40 ERA in four starts against them.
“They’re hitting everybody. It doesn’t matter if it’s right, left, ambidextrous guys, but there’s a lot of factors that fit into this decision. The most pressing one is his health,” Showalter said.
“I think last night lent even more credence to doing it because we look at the history after the long outings, and he’s got a number there that he’s pretty close to every time. You push the envelope at a certain number with him. A lot of guys I don’t pay a whole lot of attention to it. With him, it’s a pretty long track record and the response he gets from that outing next time is a pretty good sampling.”
Miguel Gonzalez, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right groin, has played catch for three straight days and says he feels strong. He’s scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Thursday in Philadelphia, and if he feels strong, he’ll make a rehab start this weekend. He’s eligible to return on June 25.
To make room for Parmelee on the 40-man roster, the Orioles transferred Jonathan Schoop from the 15-day to 60-day disabled list. Schoop is actually eligible to return on Wednesday, and is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment in Bowie on Friday.
“We’ll explore all the ways to make the pieces fit,” Showalter said. “It’s kind of what we do, and we’ve gotten a good return for it. It’s what’s best for the team…What’s best for Wei-Yin is what’s best for the team.”