Left-hander Wei-Yin Chen waited a week to get into an exhibition game, but he didn't look rusty. He threw two scoreless innings against the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday at the Charlotte Sports Park.
"I'm really excited,'' Chen said through interpreter Tim Lin. "I feel really good. It's been too long for me."
Chen threw 23 pitches, 17 of them for strikes, before giving way to left-hander Brian Matusz to start the third inning.
Manager Buck Showalter has held back the main cogs in last year's rotation to keep them from pitching too much during this elongated training camp. Miguel Gonzalez is scheduled to make his first spring appearances on Sunday.
Chen, who had to pitch through some knee soreness at the end of last season, said he's grateful to Showalter for giving him a little more time, though he was eager to get back on the mound in a game.
"I really appreciate our coaching staff because I had soreness on my knee before, so they pushed back [my start] a little more for me," he said. "But really, I’m on schedule right now.”Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun