Miami starter Wei-Yin Chen played catch Wednesday and is hoping to return in September, according to MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro.
However, Chen told the media he doesn’t have a specific return date in mind.
"I definitely hope I can pitch this year, but we're going to go through every step carefully," Chen said through his interpreter. "I don't have a specific timetable. But definitely, I hope I can pitch this year."
Chen last made a start for the Marlins on July 20 before being placed on the disabled list with an elbow sprain. Although elbow issues sometimes result in Tommy John surgery, Chen’s injury hasn’t required a procedure.
Adding Chen to the starting rotation, even for the final few weeks of the season, will likely be valuable as the Marlins make a playoff run. In Chen’s absence, the Marlins have been forced to turn to David Phelps in the starting rotation.
The acquisition of Andrew Cashner makes Chen’s absence less severe, though Miami’s starters behind Jose Fernandez and Adam Conley have been inconsistent.
Chen didn’t have much success before going down, pitching to a 4.99 ERA and 4.55 FIP over 110.0 innings.
Miami’s starting rotation has pitched to a 4.08 ERA, which ranks sixth in the National League. However, the unit’s inability to pitch deep into games has taxed the bullpen.
The Marlins signed Chen last off-season expecting him to serve as a left-handed compliment to Fernandez.