Quick Review of Chen’s Season
Wei-Yin Chen signed a five-year $80 million dollar contract in 2016. He would like to give a better return on that investment after a terrible 2018 season. Chen was two different pitchers home and away. Overall he went 6-12 with a 4.79 ERA, with 111 strikeouts in 26 starts.
He is a totally different pitcher when he’s pitching at Marlin’s Park than he is during away games. At home, Wei-Yin went 5-3 with a 1.62 ERA in 13 starts. Away games are a totally different story for Chen. In another 13 starts on the road, he is 1-9 with a 9.27 ERA.
It’s clear that Wei-Yin prefers to pitch at home, but with a pitcher that has dramatic splits like him, how do you utilize him?
Some Options on how to use Chen
One way that Mattingly could utilize Wei-Yin’s home success is to run a 6-man rotation. Running a 6-man rotation while keeping Chen on the back end could give him more home starts.
The Marlins could keep him in the bullpen to make room for a young prospect in the rotation. Keeping Chen in the bullpen eliminates the possibility of him pitching on the road and can be used exclusively at home. With Wei-Yin being a starter, he could be used as a long reliever to eat some innings in a bullpen game.
Another option is to use Wei-Yin as a closer exclusive to home games. Use another option such as Kyle Barraclough or Drew Steckenrider for away games and games that Chen doesn’t appear in.
He has battled through some arm injuries. Moving him to the pen where there’s less innings to pitch in could help preserve his arm. Why risk the possibility of injuring Wei-Yin as a starter when you can limit the chance of injury with him in the bullpen?
The organization has to come up with an idea for him if they want to be successful. Road and home Chen are two different pithcers. Finding a way to utilize home Chen is a must for the club.