Chen is definitely the lesser of two evils with Hochevar, at this point.
I have been saying all season that Yost has too slow a hook on Chen, and it kills his effectiveness. I decided to finally put my money where my mouth was and look at the stats on this.
What I found confirms what my eyes/memory were saying: Yost doesn't pull Chen quickly enough. Once Bruce gets to the 5th inning and beyond, he should be yanked at the first sign of trouble.
I found that in 13 games this season, Chen got into trouble in the final inning he pitched and was allowed to pitch through it. His ERA in his final inning this season was a shocking 15.25 (versus 3.59 for the rest of the game). Only twice this season did he run into trouble in the last inning and pitch through it with no damage.
To be fair, Chen had four appearances in which he was knocked out before the fifth inning. Subtracting those appearances, you still end up with 9 appearances in which Chen got drilled while being left in too long, with an ERA of 13.28 in those appearances.
The point? With a shorter leash, Chen is a much more consistent and reliable starter. Once he hits the fifth inning, he should be removed at the first sign of trouble.
Next season, if handled like that (which you can do if he's your No. 5 starter), I think you'll see a much more effective Bruce Chen.
"You gotta love livin', cause dying is a pain in the ass."