Archer eagerly awaits matchup with Yankees

Archer eagerly awaits matchup with Yankees

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Chris Archer is excited about starting against the Yankees on Sunday in Tampa, Fla., since facing a division rival is a good litmus test for how he's progressing this spring.

However, the right-hander really hasn't reached the point of Spring Training where he's pitching like he would during the regular season. Archer allowed that would come later in the spring when "you really start honing in" and when he needs "to practice things that I'm going to use" in regular-season games.

"I'm not just going to throw 2-0 offspeed every time," Archer said. "I think it's a little later in Spring Training."

Like most starters, Archer's priority is to stretch himself out for the season so he can pitch deep into games that count. But while that's a priority, there are certain things about his nature that dictate how he performs.

"I'm always trying to compete and always trying to execute," Archer said. "I don't view [a Spring Training start] as just practice, because I'm still trying to not give up hits. So I'm still trying to execute pitches always, maybe not in the same ways that I am during the season, but I'm still trying to execute."

Given the fact he's pitching against the Yankees on Sunday, and that he will likely face other American League East rivals this spring -- since all of them conduct their spring operations on the west coast of Florida -- Archer was asked whether he worried about those appearances allowing the hitters to gain some familiarity with his pitching, how he might set them up, etc.

"I think there's two ways you can look at it," Archer said. "You can look at it either as they're going to see me and get more familiar with me, or I'm going to see them and get more familiar with them. And that's how I choose to look at it.

"I'm getting familiar with [some] of the teams that we play the most throughout the season. And I'm going to take something from each and every at-bat and say, 'All right, if I give him a pitch, I know where I can go with this guy,' because I've had success against him in the past."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.