Wei-Yin Chen leaves game with injury

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Orioles lefty Wei-Yin Chen left today’s start against the Twins with an apparent oblique strain. After getting the final out of the fifth inning, he was seen grabbing his right side and was replaced in the sixth inning by Tommy Hunter. Over five innings, Chen held the Twins scoreless on five hits and no walks while striking out three.

MLB.com’s Britt Ghiroli suggests that a stint on the disabled list is likely, as is the case for most oblique strains. Chen entered the afternoon with a 3.40 ERA over seven starts, continuing to be the Orioles’ most reliable starter.

However, Ghiroli also tweeted that Chen wasn’t in pain after the game and hopes to avoid the DL.

 

Rakuten Golden Eagles sign Jabari Blash

Jabari Blash
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Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.

The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.

The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.