Talking about the rotation

We tried to get manager Dave Trembley to reveal his rotation this morning, but he wouldn't bite. He's not ready to confirm whether Kevin Millwood is the Opening Day starter, though you can bet on it, or where the pitchers will be slotted.

Trembley didn't look up Millwood's spring stats from past years. He'll take the right-hander's word that the numbers are poor.

So what does Trembley look for during Millwood's starts?

"Finish on his pitches and location," he said. "Life on his pitches and location. Arm speed. Locate and finish. And obviously, if you get those two things, your results should be better."

Trembley conceded that he'd like to see Millwood "do a little better," but not because he thinks spring struggles will carry into the regular season.

"It would be good for Millwood," he said. "Our fans are interested. He's a big part of our team. People want to see better results. We all want to see better results. Let's not say anything other than that. But I'm not going to get too worked up over it if it doesn't happen. Let's get improvement, let's get him closer to where he's going to be."

Trembley said spring results won't influence where his starters pitch in the rotation. He has an order in mind. We're free to submit guesses, but he won't confirm whether we're right.

Trembley did mention how Millwood came here to pitch, and that he's going to be "at the top of the rotation."

"Nothing's going to change," Trembley said. "He was acquired for a purpose and a reason. What he does in spring training, one way or the other, doesn't affect that."

Sounds like your 2010 Opening Day starter, but we'll wait for the official word.


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