Wei-Yin Chen
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Wei-Yin Chen

Wei-Yin Chen
Wei-Yin Chen 2019 (1).jpg
Chen with the Miami Marlins in 2019
Hanshin Tigers - No. 14
Pitcher
Born: (1985-07-21) July 21, 1985 (age 36)
Kaohsiung County, Taiwan
Bats: Switch
Throws: Left
Professional debut
NPB: April 3, 2005, for the Chunichi Dragons
MLB: April 10, 2012, for the Baltimore Orioles
NPB[1] statistics
(through June 17, 2021)
Win-loss record37-33
Earned run average2.60
Strikeouts541
MLB statistics
(through 2019 season)
Win-loss record59-51
Earned run average4.18
Strikeouts846
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Wei-Yin Chen[2] (Chinese: ; pinyin: Chén W?iy?n; born July 21, 1985) is a Taiwanese professional baseball pitcher for the Hanshin Tigers in the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB). He previously played in the Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Baltimore Orioles and Miami Marlins, and in the NPB for the Chunichi Dragons and Chiba Lotte Marines. Chen was the highest-paid baseball player of the 2020 MLB season at $22 million.[3]

Early life

Wei-Yin Chen was born in Kaohsiung County, Taiwan. He attended Ciao-Tou Junior High School[4] and Kaoyuan Vocational High School, which was also attended by former Major League pitcher Tsao Chin-Hui and several other Chinese Professional Baseball League players.[5]

Professional career

Chunichi Dragons

Chen with the Chunichi Dragons in 2011

He was a pitcher for the Chunichi Dragons in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) from 2004 through 2011. Chen had Tommy John surgery at the end of 2006 season.[6] His best season in Japan came in 2009 when he posted a 1.54 earned run average (ERA) to lead the league.[5] When he came out of the Nippon League, FanGraphs described him as being an extreme control pitcher with poor velocity.[7] A clause implemented into his contract with Chunichi allowed him to opt out after the 2011 season at age 26.[7]

Baltimore Orioles

2012 season

Chen pitching for the Baltimore Orioles in 2012

After the 2011 season, Chen signed as an international free agent with the Baltimore Orioles.[8] Chen was the first Taiwanese player ever signed by the Orioles.[9] He made his MLB debut on April 10, 2012 against the New York Yankees in Baltimore. The game was broadcast live on national television in native Taiwan,[10] and Chen totaled 523 innings and gave up two earned runs striking out six in a no-decision that the Orioles would later go on to lose in extra innings.[11] In total, Chen finished the season leading the team with 32 starts during which he totaled 12 wins and 11 losses and posted an ERA of 4.02 in 192.2 innings pitched.[12] In 2012, Chen was "the only constant in the (Orioles) rotation" and was consistent throughout the year.[13] Chen finished fourth in the AL for Rookie of the Year voting.

Chen pitching for the Baltimore Orioles in 2012 ALDS Game, and earned the win.

2013 season

Coming out of spring training, Chen won the number two spot in the Orioles' starting rotation behind Jason Hammel.[14] Chen set a goal to throw 200 innings on the season. In his first three starts, he lacked run support and went 0-2 despite posting a 4.00 ERA.[15] On May 15, 2013, the Orioles placed Chen on the disabled list, his first-ever stint there, with an injury to his right oblique.[16] In his return from the disabled list on July 10, 2013, Chen pitched seven innings in a matchup against the Texas Rangers striking out four and allowing three hits, earning the win.[17] Overall in 2013, Chen finished 7-7 with a 4.07 ERA in 23 starts. During the 2013 off-season, Chen underwent knee surgery to remove bone spurs.

2014 season

Chen pitched a season-high of eight strikeouts in a win against the Seattle Mariners on August 1, 2014. He dedicated the win to victims of the 2014 Kaohsiung gas explosions, which occurred hours earlier in his hometown.[18] On September 10, Chen picked up his 15th win of the season against the Boston Red Sox and carried a perfect game into the sixth inning until Dan Butler's first major league hit.[19] Chen finished the season with a 16-6 record and 3.54 ERA over 185+23 innings.[20] In game 3 of the 2014 ALCS on October 14, Chen pitched 5+13 innings on 80 pitches and gave up 2 runs in a loss against the Kansas City Royals. Chen became the first Taiwanese pitcher to start an ALCS game.[21]

2015 season

Chen pitching for the Baltimore Orioles in 2015 Military Appreciation Day

On June 26, 2015, Chen became the second Taiwanese-born player to have 100 career starts in the major leagues (after Chien-Ming Wang), allowing two runs and striking out five over six innings in a no decision against the Cleveland Indians.[22] Despite only recording a 4-5 record at the break, Chen pitched to a 2.78 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP, along with 90 strikeouts in 110 innings over the first half of the season. Chen finished the season with an 11-8 record and a career-best 3.34 ERA over 191+13 innings pitched.[23][24]

Miami Marlins

Chen with the Miami Marlins in 2018

2016 season

On January 13, 2016, Chen agreed to a five-year contract worth US$80 million with the Miami Marlins. Chen was named the starting pitcher for the opening day of the 2016 season, becoming the second Taiwanese pitcher to make a start on opening day since Chien-Ming Wang in 2008.[25] On January 25, 2017, Chen was announced as the cover athlete for the Taiwanese version of MLB The Show 17.[26] In his first season as a Marlin, Chen went 5-5 in 22 starts after spending some time on the disabled list with an injury. He posted the worst ERA of his career, finishing at 4.96 in 123 innings.

2017 season

On April 8, Chen hit his first major league hit, an infield single off New York Mets' Starting Pitcher Zack Wheeler. He was placed on the disabled list after 5 starts due to a partial UCL tear. He was activated off the disabled list on September 4 and would pitch out of the bullpen.

2018 season

Chen made his first start on April 28 vs. the Rockies after going almost a year without a big league start, getting the win, pitching 5+13 innings giving up just 1 run on 4 hits, 2 walks and 3 strikeouts. On July 24, Chen hit his first major league double, off Atlanta Braves' Starting Pitcher Julio Teherán.

2019 season

Chen was designated for assignment on November 20, 2019.[27] He was released and became a free agent on November 27.[28]

Seattle Mariners

On January 30, 2020, Chen signed a minor league contract with the Seattle Mariners.[29] Chen was released by the Mariners organization on June 25, 2020.[30] Despite being released, Chen was the highest-paid baseball player of the 2020 MLB season at $22 million.[3]

Chiba Lotte Marines

On September 22, 2020, Chen signed with the Chiba Lotte Marines of NPB.[31] On December 2, 2020, he became a free agent.[32]

Hanshin Tigers

On December 22, 2020, Chen signed with the Hanshin Tigers of NPB for the 2021 season.[33]

International career

Chen played for the Chinese Taipei National Team in the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games.[34]

Scouting report

Chen is an "extreme flyball pitcher", at one point having an HR/9 innings of 1.3, way above MLB average.[35] Chen pitches from a three-quarters arm slot and throws a four-seam fastball averaging 91-92 mph (tops out at 95-96 mph).[36] In addition, he throws a two-seamer, a slider, a changeup, and an occasional curveball.[36] Since he previously pitched in Japan where he started on five days rest rather than four, with the Orioles he initially had durability issues and was 0-4 in his last seven starts in 2012.[37] Chen has been described as a legitimate middle-of-the-rotation starter.[38][39] An opposing scout said, "I watched Wei-Yin Chen and swore I was watching Tom Glavine. He has such an effortless delivery and an above-average change up, and knows how to pitch inside."[40]

Philanthropy

In 2012, Chen started a baseball scholarship program for Taiwanese students, contributing funds based on statistical milestones reached per season. He expanded the charity's efforts in 2015, to cover animal protection and children's welfare.[4]

See also

References

  1. ^ Nippon Professional Baseball. ? ?() (?)? (in Japanese). Nippon Professional Baseball. Retrieved 2012.
  2. ^ "Wei-Yin Chen Stats, Video Highlights, Photos, Bio / Baltimore Orioles". MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved 2012.
  3. ^ a b MLB salaries: How the 60-game shortened season impacts player salaries
  4. ^ a b Tien, Yu-pin; Liu, Kay (November 23, 2015). "Baseball player Wei-Yin Chen sets up new charity fund". Central News Agency. Retrieved 2015.
  5. ^ a b Huang, Paul (June 14, 2012). "Taiwan's Chen Wei-yin makes history". Taipei Times. Retrieved 2013.
  6. ^ Keh, Andrew (September 2, 2012). "Rookie Wei-Yin Chen is the constant in Baltimore's rotation". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013.
  7. ^ a b Golebiewski, David (January 10, 2012). "Who is Wei- Yin Chen?". FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball. FanGraphs. Retrieved 2013.
  8. ^ Ghiroli, Brittany (January 10, 2012). "Wei-Yin Chen gives Orioles veteran left-handed starter". MLB.com: News. MLB Advanced Media.
  9. ^ Chen, Albert (June 22, 2012). "Wei-Yin Chen just one of Baltimore Orioles' recent international signings". SI.com. Time. Retrieved 2013.
  10. ^ Encina, Eduardo (April 11, 2012). "Baltimore gets first glimpse of Chen, but falls short in 12". The Washington Post. via HighBeam Research (subscription required). Archived from the original on April 9, 2016. Retrieved 2013.
  11. ^ "Wei-Yin Chen Game By Game Stats and Performance". Baltimore Orioles - ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved 2013.
  12. ^ "Major League Baseball Stats". orioles.com: Stats. MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved 2013.
  13. ^ "Breaking down the Orioles starting rotation options". Camden Chat - SB Nation. Vox Media. February 15, 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  14. ^ White, R.J. (March 27, 2013). "Wei-Yin Chen named Orioles' No. 2 starter". CBSSports.com. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2013. the source is in the scroll box in the center of the page; no permalink exists
  15. ^ Ghiroli, Brittany (April 14, 2013). "Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees - April 14, 2013". MLB.com BAL Recap. MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved 2013.
  16. ^ Associated Press (May 15, 2013). "Baltimore Orioles place Wei-Yin Chen on DL with oblique strain". ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved 2013.
  17. ^ "Orioles' Wei-Yin Chen beats Rangers in return from DL". USA TODAY. Associated Press. July 10, 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  18. ^ "Baltimore Orioles: A win for Wei-Yin Chen and for Taiwan". Birds Watcher. August 2, 2014. Retrieved 2016.
  19. ^ Mark Brown (September 10, 2014). "Orioles beat Red Sox 10-6; Wei-Yin Chen picks up 15th win of the year". Camden Chat. Retrieved 2016.
  20. ^ "MLB.com Gameday". Retrieved 2016.
  21. ^ Baltimore Sun (October 15, 2014). "Wei-Yin Chen was good, but Orioles needed better to beat Royals". baltimoresun.com. Retrieved 2016.
  22. ^ "Chen makes welcome return to O's rotation". Baltimore Orioles. Retrieved 2016.
  23. ^ Baltimore Sun (October 3, 2015). "Wei-Yin Chen makes perhaps last Orioles start in doubleheader sweep of Yankees". baltimoresun.com. Retrieved 2016.
  24. ^ Gleeman, Aaron (November 13, 2015). "Chris Davis, Wei-Yin Chen decline qualifying offers from Orioles". HardballTalk. NBC Sports. Retrieved 2016.
  25. ^ Marlins name Wei-Yin Chen starter for Opening Day; Jose Fernandez to start second game
  26. ^ Russell, Ramone (January 25, 2017). "MLB The Show 17: Retro Mode Details, Regional Cover Athletes Revealed". blog.us.playstation.com. Retrieved 2017.
  27. ^ Why the Miami Marlins decided to designate Wei-Yin Chen for assignment
  28. ^ Frisaro, Joe (November 27, 2019). "Chen released by Marlins, becomes free agent". MLB.com. Retrieved 2020.
  29. ^ Johns, Greg (February 11, 2020). "Chen, Mariners agree to Minors deal". MLB.com. Retrieved 2020.
  30. ^ Sie, Jing-wun; Ko, Lin (June 27, 2020). "Wei-Yin Chen released from minor league, becomes free agent". Central News Agency. Retrieved 2020.
  31. ^ "Wei-Yin Chen Signs with NPB's Chiba Lotte Marines".
  32. ^ "2020 ". NPB.jp (in Japanese). Retrieved 2021.
  33. ^ "". ? (in Japanese). December 22, 2020. Retrieved 2021.
  34. ^ "Chen Wei-Yin". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Archived from the original on April 18, 2020. Retrieved 2012.
  35. ^ "2013 Baseball Preview & Player Rankings". MLB.com: News. Player number 324: MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved 2013.CS1 maint: location (link)
  36. ^ a b "Wei-Yin Chen Ptich Type". FanGraphs Baseball. FanGraphs. Retrieved 2015.
  37. ^ Reynolds, Drew (December 20, 2012). "Wei-Yin Chen - Baltimore Orioles Starting Rotation Options for 2013". Bleacher Report. Turner Broadcasting System. Retrieved 2013.
  38. ^ Stoner, Chris (February 28, 2013). "2013 Projections: Wei-Yin Chen". Baltimore Sports and LifeBaltimore Sports and Life. Retrieved 2013.
  39. ^ Sports Network (March 26, 2013). "Baltimore Orioles 2013 Preview". Fox News. Philadelphia: FOX News Network. Retrieved 2013.
  40. ^ Reiter, Ben (April 1, 2013), "Baseball Preview", Sports Illustrated, p. 76, retrieved 2013

External links


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