The Road Worrier: Wei-Yin Chen’s Miami Marlins Season Review

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 24: Wei-Yin Chen #54 of the Miami Marlins watches the game in the seventh inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on September 24, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 24: Wei-Yin Chen #54 of the Miami Marlins watches the game in the seventh inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on September 24, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images) /
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Throughout the 2018/2019 offseason, Marlin Maniac will devote one article each for every player who appeared in the Miami Marlins system for the 2018 season. Every. Single. Player. This is Part 98 of 286. Stay tuned.

Wei-Yin Chen, or 陳偉殷, is a 6′, 195 lb. left-handed pitcher from Kaohsiung City, Taiwan, or 台湾高雄市. Born on July 21st, 1985, Chen is one of three major leaguers from the town, Taiwan’s second biggest. Tzu-Wei Lin and Jen-Ho Tseng also hail from the locale. You can follow Chen on Twitter @WeiYinChen16.

Chen played four seasons with the Japanese Central club, the Chunichi Dragons. He went 38-20 with a 2.59 ERA over 127 appearances. Chen struck out 520 batters in 649 2/3 innings, allowing a solid 1.09 WHIP.

Prior to 2012, Chen signed with the Baltimore Orioles through free agency for a $250,000 bonus. According to thebaseballcube.com, Chen is reliant on two fastballs, a four-seamer (50.4%) and a two-seamer (13.5%). He also has a slider, (16.3%), a changeup (11.8%), and a curve (8.1%). Both of his fastballs have long hovered in the 90-92 MPH range. He was named to the MLB All-Rookie Team after the 2012 season.

Miami Marlins
BALTIMORE, MD – AUGUST 16: Starting pitcher Wei-Yin Chen #16 of the Baltimore Orioles works the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on August 16, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

Chen played four seasons for the Orioles, going 46-32 with a 3.72 ERA, 547 K’s in 705 2/3 frames, and a 1.25 WHIP. In January 2016, Chen signed with the Miami Marlins for five years and $80,000,000.

The first two seasons of Chen’s deal resulted in 31 appearances, including 27 starts. He struck out 125 in 156 1/3 innings in 2016 and 2017, with a 4.72 ERA and a 4.34 FIP. His 1.228 WHIP suggested that he was still effective when he actually got onto the mound.

MIami Marlins
PITTSBURGH, PA – SEPTEMBER 08: Wei-Yin Chen #54 of the Miami Marlins delivers a pitch in the fourth inning during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on September 8, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

2018 would open for Chen on the disabled list until late-April. Through the season, his home-road splits bordered on historical. In 13 games at Marlins Park, Chen was 5-3 with a 1.62 ERA, a .185/.245/.283 slashline, and a 0.936 WHIP. On the road, also in 13 contests, he was 1-9 with a 9.27 ERA, a .340/.398/.609 slashline, and a 1.898 WHIP.

Chen allowed 19 homers through the season, including 14 on the road. He also struck out half as many batters outside of the friendly confines of Marlins Park. Sorting out Chen’s gamelogs by GameScore shows that his 11 best starts of the season were at home.

On September 1st, in a 6-3 win against the Toronto Blue Jays, Chen struck out seven batters in eight innings, allowing one run on three hits and zero walks. Three starts later, on September 21st, he held the Cincinnati Reds scoreless over seven three-hit innings, again walking zero batters in a 1-0 Miami Marlins victory.

Miami Marlins
MIAMI, FL – AUGUST 25: Wei-Yin Chen #54 of the Miami Marlins throws a pitch during the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Marlins Park on August 25, 2018 in Miami, Florida. All players across MLB will wear nicknames on their backs as well as colorful, non-traditional uniforms featuring alternate designs inspired by youth-league uniforms during Players Weekend. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /

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Chen has two more years left on his deal, and will make $20 million and $22 million respectively. According to baseball-reference.com, Chen has a 2021 vesting option that activates if he pitches 180 innings in 2020 OR 360 or more innings cumulatively in 2019 and 2020. Although Chen reached 180 innings in three of his first four major league seasons with the Orioles, he hasn’t gotten anywhere near that mark in the two seasons since.

Chen’s contract is too much for any other team to consider taking on, unless it’s somehow attached to sweeten a deal (for the Marlins) where we also lose J.T. Realmuto.

Next. Zack Leban is Four Years Away, (but maybe worth the wait). dark

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