04/09/12 6:30 PM ET
O's let Chen take in surroundings before debut
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com
"That's part of the design," manager Buck Showalter said of having Chen pitch fifth and get acclimated to a Major League environment before making his debut. "So we're trying to, not delay it, but make sure he gets as many things under his belt [as possible], so he knows what he's going into and has a feel for it.
"Does it mean that he will be more successful his first time out? I can't say for sure. But I know that if he just flew in here the night before and started the next day, that would be a little bit of a challenge, I would think."
Signed to a three-year deal out of Japan this past offseason, Chen adjusted well in Grapefruit League play, going 2-2 with a 3.60 ERA in five games, and he's had no trouble meshing with his new teammates. Asked his opinion of the atmosphere in Baltimore for opening weekend, Chen said through his interpreter that it's "definitely different" than the vibe at spring camp in Florida.
"In Spring Training, everyone is doing their job and making adjustments a little bit," Chen said. "Here, everyone wants to win. Tomorrow, I want to win, too."
Chen is familiar with several of the Yankees by name, including Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter, citing fans' knowledge of the veteran superstars, although the lefty hasn't faced any of New York's hitters. Chen admitted he is a little nervous for Tuesday's game, which can be expected of anyone before a Major League debut.
"Looking at some of the tape on him, this guy has pitched in big venues, big crowds, meaningful games," Showalter said of Chen. "We think our games are more meaningful, but pitching in the Asian games and the Olympics, pitching in Japan, the playoffs -- there's a lot of relevancy to it. But this is still a little different stage for them, especially when you consider the environment and the soil that they are pitching on."
"I wouldn't think that's a stretch," Chen said, when asked if there would be any extra pressure for his 7:05 ET debut, which will also be broadcast internationally, as well as on MLB.TV. "But all I can do is prepare now and focus on every pitch [Tuesday] and do my job."
Wada throws, but Britton's timetable uncertain
BALTIMORE -- Orioles left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada, sidelined with left elbow discomfort, threw six innings in an extended spring game on Monday, tossing 88 pitches in an outing that went well, according to Buck Showalter. The O's manager said Wada got better as he went along and was particularly sharp in the sixth in a start against the Twins.
Wada will pitch again on Saturday in Port Charlotte, Fla., and if all goes well, he'll pitch in a rehab game for one of the Orioles' affiliates on April 19. Showalter reiterated on Monday that Wada will get at least two more starts before being activated from the disabled list, so April 24 would be the earliest conceivable date he could return.
Fellow starter Zach Britton, out with a left shoulder impingement, will pick up a baseball on Thursday for the first time since undergoing a platelet-rich plasma treatment last month. Britton has been doing shoulder rehab work down in extended spring camp, and the plan is for him to play light catch and take it from there.
There remains no timetable on Britton's return at this point, and Showalter said the team will have a better idea after he plays catch a few times.
"He's got to jump through some hoops to get there, but I'm hoping by the first part of May we are getting some definitive idea about when [he could return]," Showalter said. "The next couple of weeks will be key, provided this is where he goes when he's ready."
Lefty Dana Eveland pitched six innings, allowing two runs (one earned) and picking up the win on Sunday in his first start with Triple-A Norfolk. He struck out three and didn't issue a walk.
Orioles center fielder Adam Jones, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Baltimore City Schools CEO Dr. Andrews Alonso, Orioles executive vice president of business operations Doug Duennes and Baltimore City Councilman Brandon Scott will attend a news conference on Tuesday at the Warehouse at Camden Yards for an announcement about the new location for the Baltimore City Public Schools Baseball Championship.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.