More pre-game notes

Alfredo Simon will start Monday night's game against the New York Yankees. As I wrote earlier, Brian Matusz will pitch in a minor league game.

Brian Roberts will return to the lineup tomorrow night.

We're all curious to see how David Hernandez pitches today following Chris Tillman's disappointing outing last night and Jason Berken's four innings of shutout relief.

The bullpen might not be the only place to find a good dogfight.

"I know (Tillman) was upset with himself because he felt like the first couple innings got away from him," manager Dave Trembley said. "We have to remember the kid's just 21 years old. They're all very intuitive. I'm sure he knows what's going on here, and maybe he's trying to be too perfect or whatever. He's going to pitch again next Tuesday or Wednesday, whenever it is. I just hope it's better.

"He seemed out of sync, confused. Even he said he didn't know why he was throwing some of the pitches he was throwing. He's better than that. I, to a certain extent, will concur that he's young, 21, and this, that and the other. But on the other hand, hey, everybody knows what's going on, so step up and show it."

Keep in mind that Trembley isn't going to discourage Hernandez or Berken. He wants them to keep battling for that last spot. But Tillman appeared to loosen his grip on it a little bit last night after Trembley told reporters yesterday that the rotation wouldn't include any surprises.

Tillman didn't dial it up last night. A strong outing from Hernandez today will further complicate things. And that sure beats rummaging through the scrap heap to fill out the rotation before Opening Day.


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