No matter what numbers Kevin Millwood posts this spring, he's made a favorable impression on manager Dave Trembley.
"He wants no special privileges," Trembley said. "He rides the bus, he sits in the first seat, he's the first guy in every drill, he stays and watches the game, he's the first guy out for the national anthem. He's worked for everything he's got. Nothing has been given to him. He appreciates every day he's been in the big leagues.
"We were talking in the dugout. He told me, 'Dave, people think it's hard to get here to the big leagues. It's hard to get here, but it's harder to stay.' And he stayed for a long time.
"The guy is down-to-earth. He's a baseball guy. He's been a great influence on those younger guys. And I expect that at the end of the year, his addition to the media guide is going to be right where it's been - 200 innings, he's not going to miss a start, he's going to give us a chance to win, he's going to pitch deep into games. I have to believe that. I have to believe that."
Remember when we debated whether Erik Bedard would be a poor influence on the young starters? I didn't think he would have led them astray, but Millwood brings more positive traits to the clubhouse, if that's what you're seeking.
"Andy (MacPhail) said character counts here, and he wanted somebody who could mentor these young guys," Trembley said. "But I think...we can all be nice, but you don't ever misrepresent kindness for weakness. I think Millwood would knock you on your (butt) in a heartbeat in a game. He'll be nice to you, but he'll knock you on your (butt) and still talk to you about it."
As I wrote earlier today, Caleb Joseph singled out Millwood and Chad Moeller as two veterans who were especially helpful to him. Joseph also singled once in five at-bats this spring before getting assigned to the minor league camp, but that's a separate topic.
"Moeller is a gem. He really is," Trembley said. "He's done a nice job."
Is there any doubt that Moeller is the backup catcher on Opening Day?
Mike Gonzalez will be limited to 25-30 pitches today if this game is actually played. Trembley noticed that Gonzalez warmed up "a lot better" before throwing eight pitches in Friday's Triple-A game.
All of the position players except Brian Roberts will make the trip to Jupiter on Tuesday.
It's raining sideways here. And straight down. I think a few drops are heading upward.
The press box at Bright House Field is equipped with a television that's tuned to the NCAA basketball games, so I can keep an eye on the mighty Terrapins of Maryland if we're here long enough.
Fear the Turtle.