Wei-Yin Chen

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Wei-Yin Chen
Wei-Yin Chen (16954371808).jpg
Chen with the Baltimore Orioles
Free agent
Born: (1985-07-21) July 21, 1985 (age 30)
Kaohsiung County, Taiwan
Bats: Left Throws: Left
Professional debut
NPB: April 3, 2005, for the Chunichi Dragons
MLB: April 10, 2012, for the Baltimore Orioles
NPB[1] statistics
Win–loss record 36–30
Earned run average 2.59
Strikeouts 520
MLB statistics
(through 2015 season)
Win–loss record 46-32
Earned run average 3.72
Strikeouts 547
Career highlights and awards
  • 2009 NPB Central League ERA title

Wei-Yin Chen[2] (Chinese: 陳偉殷; pinyin: Chén Wěi-yīn; born July 21, 1985) is a Taiwanese professional baseball pitcher who is a free agent. He has played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Baltimore Orioles and in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) for the Chunichi Dragons.

Early life[edit]

Wei-Yin Chen was born in Kaohsiung County, Taiwan. He attended Ciao-Tou Junior High School[3] and Kaoyuan Vocational High School, which was also attended by current Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Tsao Chin-Hui, among other Chinese Professional Baseball League players.[4]


Chunichi Dragons[edit]

Chen played for the Chinese Taipei National Team in the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games.[5] 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.[4] 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[edit]

2012 season[edit]

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]

2013 season[edit]

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[edit]

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 2/3 innings.[20] In game 3 of the 2014 ALCS on October 14, Chen pitched 5 1/3 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[edit]

On June 26, 2015, Chen became the second Taiwanese-born player to have 100 career starts in the major leagues, 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 1.09 WHIP, along with 90 strikeouts in 110.0 innings over the first half of the season. Chen finished the season with a 11-8 record and a career-best 3.34 ERA over 191 1/3 innings pitched.[23]

Scouting report[edit]

An "extreme flyball pitcher",[24] Chen pitches from a three-quarters arm slot and throws a four-seam fastball averaging 91-92 mph.[25] In addition, he throws a two-seamer, a slider, a changeup, and an occasional curveball.[25] 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.[26] Chen has been described as a legitimate middle-of-the-rotation starter.[27][28] 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."[29]


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.[3]


  1. ^ Nippon Professional Baseball. 個人年度別成績 【チェン(陳偉殷) (中日ドラゴンズ)】 (in Japanese). Nippon Professional Baseball. Retrieved 2012-07-19. 
  2. ^ "Wei-Yin Chen Stats, Video Highlights, Photos, Bio / Baltimore Orioles". MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved 19 July 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Tien, Yu-pin; Liu, Kay (23 November 2015). "Baseball player Wei-Yin Chen sets up new charity fund". Central News Agency. Retrieved 23 November 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Huang, Paul (14 June 2012). "Taiwan’s Chen Wei-yin makes history". Taipei Times. Retrieved 27 March 2013. 
  5. ^ "Chen Wei-Yin". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved 12 May 2012. 
  6. ^ Keh, Andrew (2 September 2012). "Rookie Wei-Yin Chen is the constant in Baltimore's rotation". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 March 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Golebiewski, David (10 January 2012). "Who is Wei- Yin Chen?". FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball. FanGraphs. Retrieved 27 March 2013. 
  8. ^ Ghiroli, Brittany (10 January 2012). "Wei-Yin Chen gives Orioles veteran left-handed starter". MLB.com: News. MLB Advanced Media. 
  9. ^ Chen, Albert (22 June 2012). "Wei-Yin Chen just one of Baltimore Orioles' recent international signings". SI.com. Time. Retrieved 27 March 2013. 
  10. ^ Encina, Eduardo (11 April 2012). "Baltimore gets first glimpse of Chen, but falls short in 12". The Washington Post (via HighBeam Research (subscription required)). Retrieved 27 March 2013. 
  11. ^ "Wei-Yin Chen Game By Game Stats and Performance". Baltimore Orioles - ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved 27 March 2013. 
  12. ^ "Major League Baseball Stats". orioles.com: Stats. MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved 28 March 2013. 
  13. ^ "Breaking down the Orioles starting rotation options". Camden Chat - SB Nation. Vox Media. 15 February 2013. Retrieved 28 March 2013. 
  14. ^ White, R.J. (27 March 2013). "Wei-Yin Chen named Orioles' No. 2 starter". CBSSports.com. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 3 April 2013. the source is in the scroll box in the center of the page; no permalink exists 
  15. ^ Ghiroli, Brittany (14 April 2013). "Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees - April 14, 2013". MLB.com BAL Recap. MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  16. ^ Associated Press (15 May 2013). "Baltimore Orioles place Wei-Yin Chen on DL with oblique strain". ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  17. ^ "Orioles' Wei-Yin Chen beats Rangers in return from DL". USA TODAY. Associated Press. 10 July 2013. Retrieved 11 July 2013. 
  18. ^ Baltimore Orioles: A win for Wei-Yin Chen and for Taiwan
  19. ^ Orioles beat Red Sox 10-6; Wei-Yin Chen picks up 15th win of the year
  20. ^ Chen falls short of 17th victory in loss to Jays
  21. ^ Wei-Yin Chen was good, but Orioles needed better to beat Royals
  22. ^ Chen makes welcome return to O's rotation
  23. ^ Wei-Yin Chen makes perhaps last Orioles start in doubleheader sweep of Yankees
  24. ^ "2013 Baseball Preview & Player Rankings". MLB.com: News. Player number 324: MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved 28 March 2013. 
  25. ^ a b "Wei-Yin Chen Ptich Type". FanGraphs Baseball. FanGraphs. Retrieved 5 Sep 2015. 
  26. ^ Reynolds, Drew (20 December 2012). "Wei-Yin Chen - Baltimore Orioles Starting Rotation Options for 2013". Bleacher Report. Turner Broadcasting System. Retrieved 28 March 2013. 
  27. ^ Stoner, Chris (28 February 2013). "2013 Projections: Wei-Yin Chen". Baltimore Sports and LifeBaltimore Sports and Life. Retrieved 28 March 2013. 
  28. ^ Sports Network (26 March 2013). "Baltimore Orioles 2013 Preview". Fox News. Philadelphia: FOX News Network. Retrieved 28 March 2013. 
  29. ^ Reiter, Ben (1 April 2013), "Baseball Preview", Sports Illustrated: 76, retrieved 28 March 2013 

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