03/26/07 6:00 PM ET
Livingston tightens Reds' No. 5 race
Considered for rotation with Belisle, lefty matches Matsuzaka
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
"That's all I can do, make their decision hard on them," said Livingston, who was acquired from the Mariners in a December waiver claim. "I can't do much more than that. Whatever they decide, I'm sure it will be best for the team. From my standpoint, I don't think I can do much more to prove anything else, other than to just keep doing what I'm doing."Livingston understood that performances wouldn't necessarily be the bottom line in the decision. "I still have [Minor League] options left, and there are a lot of things that play into the factors," Livingston said. "I have no expectations until they tell me something. I expect to make the team, but if not and they choose otherwise, I'll be fine with that, too. They'll make a decision that benefits the team. I'm like everyone else -- I want to make the team, but I don't have any control over it. Their final decision is going to be their final decision." The Reds shifted Milton's scheduled start to a Minor League game so that they could get another look at Livingston. Milton fared far worse on one of the back fields, with the wind blowing out against the Pirates' Class A squad. Milton's line was six runs and 11 hits -- including five home runs -- over six innings. He threw 93 pitches. In his four spring starts in big-league games, Milton is 0-1 with a 6.59 ERA. In the final year of a three-year, $25.5 million contract that will pay him $9 million this season, the 31-year-old is 16-23 with a 5.89 ERA in 60 career starts with the Reds. Because of his high salary, it's unlikely that Milton's status in the rotation -- or on the roster -- would be in jeopardy. But with Milton being the context of a reporter's question, Narron didn't exactly offer an overwhelming endorsement in his answer when asked if the top four spots of the rotation were still set. "That's what we've planned all along," Narron said.
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.