In Bruce Chen's last start, on May 5, the Royals beat the Orioles 9-1 to improve to 17-14 on the year. At that point, they were in second place in their division, chasing after the red-hot Cleveland Indians.
A few days after that start, Chen was placed on the disabled list with a shoulder injury, and since then the Royals have dropped all the way to 31-44, locked in the basement. So as Chen returns to the Royals from the DL on Friday night, he might be wondering what happened while he was gone.
Chen's been activated and will start against the Cubs on Friday. Everett Teaford was optioned to triple-A Omaha to make roster room. Chen is not a great starter, but he is a great starter on the Royals, who own an AL-worst 5.14 rotation ERA. Chen had allowed 18 runs in 42-2/3 innings before getting hurt, and his return should provide a little stability for what's been a wildly unstable and unreliable group of arms. It'll still be a bad unit, but it'll be a bit less bad, which is something.