Wei-Yin Chen is likely headed to the disabled list with a strained right oblique muscle. The Orioles' left-hander suffered the injury during the fifth inning of Sunday’s win at Minneapolis.
“He looks like he’s a candidate for the disabled list,” Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said on Monday afternoon.
“It looks like he’s going to need some time. He’ll need proper rest before he begins throwing again,” Duquette said.
Chen had an MRI on Monday, and it was to be read by Orioles team doctors.
After Sunday’s game, Chen and manager Buck Showalter held out hope that the injury was only a cramp, but that wasn’t the case.
Chen will probably be placed on the disabled list on Tuesday, and with left-hander Mike Belfiore returned to Norfolk, the team will add two players. Miguel Gonzalez is already on the disabled with a blister on his right thumb, so the team is down two starters.
Jason Hammel, Chris Tillman and Freddy Garcia are currently the only healthy starters.
With two off days this week, Duquette indicated another position player as well as a pitcher could be added on Tuesday and another starting pitcher would be needed for Saturday.
That starter could be either Steve Johnson or Jair Jurrjens. Johnson started Saturday’s game at Minnesota, but if he’s replacing Chen, he wouldn’t have to stay in the minors for the required 10 days. Johnson allowed six runs on seven hits in four innings while Jurrjens gave up five runs in seven innings for the Tides on Monday afternoon.
“We have some good candidates,” Duquette said about the team’s options for starting pitchers.
The Orioles are hoping that Gonzalez will be ready for a rehab assignment later this week. They won’t have a need for a fifth starter until May 23.
Infielders Russ Canzler, Yamaico Navarro and Danny Valencia, who are all on the 40-man roster, are candidates to be recalled. Reliever Alex Burnett, who was recalled last week, but returned on Saturday, could rejoin the team on Tuesday.