Showalter on Chen and the bullpen

Wei-Yin Chen’s start is sort of a big deal in Taiwan.

How big?

There are nine Taiwanese media outlets at Camden Yards tonight: Central News Agency, TBVS, ETTV, ESPN Taiwan, China Times, Liberty Times, Formosa, CTI TV and World Journal. There are 15 people from these outlets.

Tonight’s game will air live in Taiwan on three outlets - Formosa TV, ESPN Taiwan and ETLA - at 7 a.m. local time.

It’s also a pretty big deal to the Orioles.

“Oh, without a doubt it’s different. Thank goodness. I’m looking forward to it,” manager Buck Showalter said.

“Also keep in mind that it’s at 7 a.m. in Taiwan. There will be a lot of people late to work today, or tomorrow, whatever it is. I think it’s tomorrow. But I know it’s a big moment for him in Taiwan.”

Showalter doesn’t seem too concerned about his bullpen availability for tonight after using four relievers and warming up Matt Lindstrom last night.

Brian Matusz threw 96 pitches in four innings. As the left-hander’s count rose, did Showalter start having regrets about not taking a true long man north out of spring training?

“Not yet,” he replied. “We had two guys I definitely wanted to pitch in the game last night in Kevin (Gregg) and Darren (O’Day), and they needed to pitch. I felt real comfortable about extending them. We were fortunate to get through that game where we had everybody available again tonight. In the future, that’s not something you’re going to be able to weather if you have it three or four days in a row with any type of bullpen. So I think it’s more about trying to make sure we don’t have that happen as often as we did last year and the challenge that it presented with movement we had back and forth because of that.

“I remember having two or three conversations with relievers last year that really didn’t deserve to go out, but we had to in order to not put anybody at risk physically. We were looking at some options if we had to, but the people we brought in were able to get us through the game.”

The configuration of the bullpen doesn’t necessarily mean that Showalter is confident that his starters will routinely pitch deep into games.

“Not yet,” he said. “That’d be nice to say, but I don’t think that we have enough sampling to know that’s going to happen to go completely there or track record. Hopefully, we have that potential, and if we have to make an adjustment, we will. We certainly have a lot more pieces to pick from than we have in the past.”

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