How would you slot the Orioles' rotation?

We’re continuing the pitching theme today in honor of the first Orioles’ workout in Sarasota on Thursday morning.

Before we get to that, though, just a little barcleaning matter.

Friday – or the weekend, really – will be my last post here until mid-March, when I’ll be blogging and tending from the Sunshine State.

Until then, I am taking a little bit of time off while Jeff Zrebiec and Peter Schmuck handle spring training duties.

But Connolly’s will remain open with a guest bartender, so you have no excuse to leave this place. And I didn’t just get you some generic slob with an apron and a bar rag and nothing else. No sir, I found you someone who knows his way around a stadium and a tavern.

Sun sports columnist Kevin Cowherd has agreed to jump behind the bar a few times a week for the next three weeks.

Kevin, as many of you know from his columns, sports and otherwise, has a great sense of humor and should add a little something extra to this dive. Assuming, that is, he doesn’t rob me blind and drink my inventory. (Rob K., you were right on, pal.)

Seriously, Kevin will come in and shoot the bull through mid-March. It’s perfect timing, since he is a keen follower of the University of Maryland men’s basketball program. So gear up for some serious Terps talk in this place – something that will be welcomed, I am sure.

Today, we’ll stick with my topic of (arguable) expertise: the Orioles.

Assuming Brad Bergesen (strained shoulder) is ready for the start of the season – and he says he expects to be -- and there are no other injuries, a trade or an implosion, the Orioles rotation in April should be some alignment of Bergesen, Jeremy Guthrie, Brian Matusz, Kevin Millwood and Chris Tillman.

I am wondering how you would slot them for the beginning of the season. Millwood, because he is the veteran, likely will be the Opening Day starter against the Tampa Bay Rays in Florida on April 6.

The Orioles’ home opener will be April 9, and likely will feature the No. 4 starter there. My suggestion for that spot would be Bergesen, if healthy, since he was the club’s best hurler before he got hurt last season and it is still an honor to be the home-opening pitcher, even if it isn’t on the traditional Opening Day.

Rotation-slotting becomes moot a few weeks into the season, once teams experience different off days. But, initially, it has some import.

So I am making sure the veterans are at the top and my lefty is in the middle. If I were Dave Trembley, this is how I would do it: Millwood, Guthrie (rough year, but he still deserves to be high up in the rotation), Matusz (the lone lefty, and the rookie doesn’t need to be higher up, pressure-wise) Bergesen and Tillman.

Do you agree?

Daily Think Special: How would you slot the Orioles’ five-man rotation?

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