Orioles left-hander Wei-Yin Chen leaves Baltimore on Tuesday for the club’s minor league complex in Sarasota, Fla., but how long he’ll be there is unknown.
“I just want to go down there and prepare early and rehab early so I can get everything [done] down there,” Chen said through interpreter Tim Lin. “And just hope everything will be fine moving forward.”
Chen suffered a Grade 2 strain of his right oblique in the fifth inning of his last start, May 12 in Minnesota. He is eligible to come off the disabled list on May 28, but that certainly won’t happen. The best guess is that he’ll be gone at least a month — pushing his return into, roughly, the middle of June.
He’s not allowed to pick up a ball for at least two weeks after the injury occurred — which would be next Sunday or Monday. But that seems a little optimistic, according to manager Buck Showalter.
“I’d feel fortunate if that’s the case. I hope that’s the case. You guys know the history with these things,” Showalter said. “It’s a Grade 2 and there is another grade that’s worse than that one. You don’t want to get to that one, you want to start heading towards the other one.”
Chen, who is 3-3 with a 3.04 ERA in eight starts this season and has been the club’s most consistent starter, said he is feeling better, but has been dealing with some intermittent soreness.
“It’s been baby steps. Sometimes I feel, like, really good when I wake up in the morning and sometimes I feel discomfort when I wake up in the morning,” he said. “So you never know. I will wait until the two week period to see what’s going to happen.”
Chen said he expects to ride on the stationary bike for brief periods this week and hopes to progress to running on an underwater treadmill by next week. He wants to start throwing again, but will listen to the club’s medical staff.
“I definitely want to come back as soon as possible,” he said. “But, this injury, I cannot push me too hard. I have to let it heal itself completely. I don’t want to rush myself.”
Around the horn
As of early Monday evening, the Orioles hadn’t announced what the corresponding transaction will be when Gonzalez is activated from the DL on Tuesday. … J.J. Hardy, who had his 13-game hit streak snapped on Sunday, batted third on Monday for the first time this year. … Washington Capitals forward Brooks Laich threw out the first pitch at Camden Yards on Monday. Despite growing up in Saskatchewan, Canada, Laich was named after Oriole Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson. His father was a big fan of Robinson’s. … According to Baseball America, the Orioles have signed catcher Ronny Paulino, who was with the club last year, to a minor-league deal. Paulino was released by the Seattle Mariners in the spring. Baseball America also reported the Orioles signed right-hander Austin Urban, who was released in the spring by the Chicago Cubs, to a minor league deal. He was originally drafted in the 27th round by the Orioles in 2010, but didn’t sign until the next year with the Cubs (41st round).