Lefty Wei-Yin Chen, the Orioles' most consistent starter since the beginning of last season, is “very disappointed right now” to be going on the disabled list for the first time in his brief major league career.
Chen confirmed that the diagnosis from an MRI on his right side was a strained oblique muscle. He’ll be placed on the 15-day DL retroactive to Monday, but he won’t be coming off the DL when first eligible.
He has been instructed not to pick up a ball for two weeks, so it’s likely he’ll be gone from the active roster for three to four weeks.
“I’m very disappointed right now about my injury. The only thing I can do is just [let it heal] and come back and help the team,” Chen said through interpreter Tim Lin.
Chen, who was 3-3 with a 3.04 ERA in eight starts this season, felt a pain in his side during the fifth inning of Sunday’s start in Minnesota. He was hoping it was just a cramp, but the pain worsened on Monday, when he had the MRI.
“It’s not painful, it’s just sore,” Chen said Tuesday afternoon.
While pitching in Japan, Chen said he had injured a different part of the oblique during a bullpen session, but it didn’t really compare to this one.
Because the Orioles demoted lefty Mike Belfiore during Monday’s off day, the club recalled two players Tuesday when Chen was placed on the disabled list.
Right-handed reliever Alex Burnett was promoted to take Chen’s place (although Burnett was sent to Norfolk on Friday, he could be recalled within 10 days because he is replacing an injured player). This is Burnett’s third recall already this season. He has pitched one scoreless inning for the Orioles, in relief May 9 versus Kansas City
And infielder Yamaico Navarro was recalled for the second time this season. He did not play the first time. He was hitting .303 with a .395 on-base percentage for the Tides in 34 games.
“I’m excited,” Navarro said. “I’m very happy. I want to play, so no matter where they want. I am here.”