Sep 13, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Wei-Yin Chen (16) pitches during the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Here is a guy that may not be on the radar of many D-backs’ fans. The 30-year old lefty has spent the last four years with the Baltimore Orioles after pitching for the Chunici Dragons in the Japan Central League. Chen threw 191 1/3 innings in 2015 and finished with an ERA of 3.34, a personal best. He has made at least 31 starts in three of his four seasons in Baltimore, missing time in 2013 with an oblique injury.
Chen owns a lifetime record of 46-32 with a 3.72 ERA in 117 starts. His strikeout to walk ratio is a nice 3.18 over the course of his Orioles’ career. Like Leake, Chen has pitched in a very favorable hitter’s park in Camden Yards. He has been Baltimore’s best pitcher over the last two seasons, winning a total of 27 games with an ERA of 3.44 during that time. Chen has also surrendered 51 home runs during that time but when you don’t walk very many people, the damage is minimal.
Chen and Leake have very similar resumes and have both pitched in tough pitcher’s parks. Chen is intriguing because outside of Patrick Corbin and Robbie Ray, there are no lefty starters on the immediate horizon within the organization. He should be looked at long and hard as an alternative to Price, Leake and other players management may be watching. In a free agent crop full of big names, Chen may turn out to be the biggest bargain.