The Marlins have activated left-hander Wei-Yin Chen from the disabled list; they’ve designated catcher Tomas Telis for assignment in a corresponding move. Chen will make his season debut tonight against the Rockies.
Chen has had a rough go of it since signing a five-year, $80MM contract with Miami prior to the 2016 season. The pact was based at least on part on the southpaw’s impressive durability to that point in his career, but Chen’s only managed to throw 156 1/3 innings in a Marlins uniform due to myriad injuries, most recently a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow. Chen had an opt-out clause in his contract that he could’ve activated this past offseason, but wisely chose not to do so.
His return to the mound will be a welcome sight for a Marlins club that has trotted out a host of inexperienced starters this season, headlined by Jose Urena as the club’s “ace by default”. As a group, their rotation has posted a 5.13 ERA and -0.1 fWAR, both marks that rank among baseball’s bottom five. Meanwhile, they’ve issued walks at the third-highest rate in the majors. They’ll hope that changes with today’s addition of Chen, along with tomorrow’s addition of right-hander Dan Straily, who’s also scheduled to come off the DL and make a start.
Telis, a 26-year-old switch-hitter, was mainly on the roster to back up Bryan Holaday in J.T. Realmuto’s absence; with Realmuto healthy (and homering at a surprising rate), Telis became an expendable piece. He owns a .230/.267/.298 career batting line in 267 plate appearances; he had been even worse than that in a small sample this year in addition to striking out in a career-high 25.8% of his plate appearances.