Digging out and pitching in

A polar bear knocked on my door this morning and asked when pitchers and catchers report.

Is that weird?

I've shoveled my sidewalk and dug out my car five times, once rising out of bed at 5 a.m., and I still can't keep ahead of this storm. And I did it with my fingers crossed, hoping and praying that my power doesn't go out.

I couldn't get my door open earlier this morning, and then I couldn't get it to close behind me. I decided to leave it ajar and not risk being stuck in a blizzard.

Who would take care of my daughter? Who would take care of my blog?

Yes, in that order.

As I reported yesterday, the Orioles aren't expecting to sign another starting pitcher unless it's a minor league contract or something changes drastically over the next week.

It's easy to project that Kevin Millwood, Jeremy Guthrie, Brad Bergesen and Brian Matusz will occupy four spots in the rotation - though not necessarily in that order. Chris Tillman looks like a No. 5 at the moment, but performance in spring training will settle that debate.

"I think there will be competition for a spot at the backend of the rotation. I think that's only fair," manager Dave Trembley said.

"I think you have to be fair to (Jason) Berken and (David) Hernandez and give them a real good look. They pitched for us last year. I don't think they can come into spring training with the mindset that, 'Hey, I'm not going to make the club as a starting pitcher. I'm already a bullpen guy.' I don't think that's what you want to do.

"I also think you want to look at (Jake) Arrieta, you want to look at (Troy) Patton, you want to look at some of those younger kids and see when and if they're going to be able to help you at the big league level and what's the best role for them. So I think there is going to be some competition. And this is to take nothing away from Tillman. Tillman is going to be a great young pitcher. But things happen. Unfortunately, guys get hurt or the 12 pitchers you start the season with on your pitching staff usually aren't the 12 that you end up with. There are things that happen throughout the season. So we'll see what happens in spring training. We'll try to get guys in as many games as we can, give them innings, and may the best 12 go with us."

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