The O's most reliable starter will miss the next few weeks to recover from a right oblique strain, further depleting an inconsistent and injury-prone rotation. The left-hander was pulled from his last start after five shutout innings because of the injury.
Baltimore has several options available at Triple-A to replace Chen's spot in the rotation, but none of them are really all that exciting. With Freddy Garcia already in the rotation because of Miguel Gonzalez's lingering finger blister, Steve Johnson, Jair Jurrjens, and Zach Britton are the most likely candidates to take over for Chen. Both Johnson and Britton have already made a (terrible) spot start this season, so perhaps Jurrjens will finally get a go at cracking the big-league roster.
Chen, 27, has been a solid contributor since signing a three-year deal with the O's prior to the 2012 season. Five of the left-hander's eight outings this year have been quality starts, and Sunday's appearance would have been one as well had he not suffered the injury. Chen owns a 3.04 ERA and 5.1 K/9 in 47⅓ innings on the season.