A Twitterer asked ESPN’s Keith Law if Wei-Yin Chen’s stuff has long-term sustainability or if the rest of the league will catch up to him in the second half of the season. Law simply responded “The former.”
That’s good enough for me.
Chen’s fantastic season continued on Sunday with a seven inning shutout performance in the Orioles series clinching 2-0 victory in Atlanta. The 26-year-old rookie showed no nerves after following Jason Hammel’s one-hitter.
Though Law was limited to 140 characters in his response, I’m sure he would tell you the same thing other baseball experts have said about Chen. I’ve heard from some respected minds that his secondary pitches are strong enough to carry him in this division and that he can dial up his fastball when he needs it.
Chen has reached 95 on the gun and has proven an ability to force ground ball outs and double plays.
The ultimate test for Chen will be how he holds up physically in the humidity of Baltimore during July and August. Rick Dempsey has often expressed that Baltimore was the hardest place he ever played during these months and Orioles fans quickly recall the difficulties of Koji Uehara in the hot, hot heat of Charm City.
I tend to think Chen will hold up better than Koji though, he’s about a decade younger and much more of a big league style pitcher than Uehara.