Earlier in spring training, there was some speculation that Showalter might hold back Tommy Hunter to pitch that game -- giving him more time to stretch out after being hampered by an early back issue -- and steer Chen around the hard-hitting Yankees lineup. But Hunter ended up in the No. 2 slot in the rotation and Chen gets to jump into the AL East feet first.
"He's going to have to pitch against them sooner or later,'' Showalter said. "I like the idea of getting him a little more time. We also have an off day after the Yankees that allows us to make some adjustments."
Showalter wasn't any more specific than that, except to concede that he may need to account for the eventual arrival of Japanese pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada, who is still working his way into shape at extended spring training.