Baltimore Orioles left-hander Wei-Yin Chen talks about his pitching performance in the team 4-3 win against the Cleveland Indians. (Kevin Richardson/Baltimore Sun video)
Chen's happy return: There's no way to prove that Wei-Yin Chen will realize a long-term benefit from his brief minor league assignment, but he looked solid again Friday night and continues to pitch to a sub-3.00 ERA. That should be enough to satisfy him and agent Scott Boras as they look ahead to his upcoming foray into the free-agent market.
Chen won 16 games last year and he continues to be a very dependable starter, though he has not been able to pile up the victories in 2015. That probably factored into the discontent over his missed major league start, but there's little question that he'll get paid very well if he continues to put the Orioles in position to win so consistently.
That's all he has done since the start of the 2014 season and the Orioles are 28-17 in his 45 starts during that time. Over his entire Orioles career, the club is 59-41 when he pitches.
Oh yes, he will get paid and he should be grateful that the Orioles are trying to deliver him into the offseason healthy.
Paredes heats up again: For all of those skeptical Orioles fans who thought that Jimmy Paredes might be a flash in the pan, he has certainly proven that he can play the game of adjust and readjust that is necessary for sustained success at the major league level.
There was a time when he was an offensive meteor shooting into the American League batting lead for a brief moment. But he lapsed into a 2-for-32 slump and his average dropped to a season-low .294 after an 0-for-4 performance on June 10.
Since then, he has rebounded again and entered Saturday with hits in nine of his previous 10 games (17-for-39, .436), lifting his average up to a team-leading .319.
Flaherty better than advertised: Here's a little food for thought for fans who have been critical of fill-in second baseman Ryan Flaherty. The guy wasn't supposed to play every day at second base this year, but he has played very tight defense and his offensive contribution has been chronically underrated.
Did anyone notice that with his two-hit performance Friday night, he raised his batting average to .260 and his on-base percentage to .347? Well, if you look even closer, that on-base percentage ranks second behind Manny Machado among Orioles regulars.
So cut the guy a little slack. There's a reason why Buck Showalter likes him so much. He isn't going to cash any awards bonuses at the end of the year, but he's a surprisingly valuable piece of the Orioles' puzzle.