In the offseason, I questioned a lot of Dan Duquette’s moves – especially Wei-Yin Chen. Honestly, it was to be determined what Chen brought to the table with the Orioles and fans were intrigued what he could do in the majors, most notably against the beasts of the American League East.
So far, Chen is passing the test. In fact, he may be singularly well the best pickup that Duquette has had throughout the young season so far. Although he does not throw all that hard – from the high 80’s to very low 90’s – Chen locates so well and paints the ‘black’ so effectively on either side of the plate.
That being said, the Taiwanese southpaw earned his fourth win of the season and helped give the Baltimore Orioles the split over the Yankees in their brief two-game series. They defeated the Bronx Bombers, 5-2, in a masterful effort by Chen who allowed two runs on four hits in seven innings of work. Jim Johnson got the save, his 12th.
Chen's only mistake came in the seventh inning as he served up a two-run homer to Curtis Granderson -- well, it might have not been. Granderson opposite field shot seemed to be almost caught by left-fielder Xavier Avery; however, from my seats on the third base side - I did attend the game - it looked like a fan in Yankee gear interferred with the play. The Orioles didn't dispute it, and Avery had to jump in order to have a play on it; however, Granderson seeemed to have gotten some help with his 13th homer of the season.
Other than that, Chen was dealing to the Bombers. They were stymied by him and didn't have much of a chance.
The Orioles were significantly helped out by the double play – especially in the eighth and ninth innings against Pedro Strop in the 8th, and Johnson in the 9th, where the Yankees looked to possibly break things open.
The Orioles are 23-14 and share the American League East lead with the Rays. The offense broke through against southpaw C.C. Sabathia, who was off on the night, and left many pitches in zone. Sabathia’s offerings were hit hard and times; therefore, he was tagged for four runs in six innings of work.
Adam Jones hit his 11th homer of the season in the second inning, and J.J. Hardy – who has been red hot as of late – drove in two runs and had two hits. Steve Tolleson also has two hits. Jones also scored twice, including during the seventh inning as Yankee catcher Chris Stewart allowed a passed ball.
Finally, with Adam Jones’ start to the season, do you think now is the time to possibly extend him, or would it be best to wait to see what he does? I would say, the better he does – especially into the summer – the more expensive Jones will get. I know there’s an inherent risk in signing a player to a long term deal, especially in light of the Roberts’ injury and Markakis’ effort the past few years.
Should the Orioles take the risk on Jones?