If the Chinese Taipei team qualifies for next March’s World Baseball Classic, Wei-Yin Chen won’t be playing for them.
While Chinese Taipei is playing in a qualifying round this week in Taiwan, Chen is training in California and expecting the birth of his first child, a boy, this week.
Through his translator, Tim Lin, Chen said in an e-mail to CSNBaltimore.com that he prefers to concentrate on playing for the Orioles next spring and not his native country.
Lin said that Chen wants “to spend time with family and his newborn baby this offseason.”
Last week, an industry source said that the Orioles didn’t want Chen to pitch in the WBC.
“That has not influenced my decision at all,” Chen said. “This was my first year in the major league and [I haven’t] pitched that many innings since 2010. So I want to get more rest physically and mentally and be ready for the spring training next year.”
In 2012, Chen was the Orioles leading winner with a 12-11record and 4.02 ERA.
Chen said that playing in the WBC would take away from his training time with the Orioles. The team is expected to report about a week earlier than usual because of the WBC.
“I have to prepare early and get ready if I play in the WBC, and it probably [causes a lack of] rest time,” Chen said.
Last season, each of Chen’s starts were covered by a throng of Taiwanese media. His decision to not play for his native country may be unpopular back home.
“It’s a hard decision for me at this point. I know they will probably be disappointed if I don’t play [in the] WBC, but I have to make the best decision for me and the Orioles,” Chen said.
Chen made the decision to stay in the U.S. to train instead of returning home.
“I want to train in the States because I want to learn more from a training program here [which would] also benefit me in the future,” he said.
His goals for the off-season?
“Get enough time to rest and be ready for spring training next year. I want to perform I my best condition when I arrive I spring training,” Chen said.
His most important task? “I’m really excited and can’t wait to experience [being] a father.”