Guthrie an Issue? Seriously?

Jeremy Guthrie has been making headlines and message boards lately as if he was the chairman of AIG.

Here's a newsflash: Guthrie should be the least of anybody's concerns right now.

For people like myself who don't feel normal unless they're over-analyzing something with the Orioles, I can give you a handful of better things to be worried about this season than Guthrie---like who's going to follow him and Koji Uehara in the rotation.

Sure, he's had an unimpressive spring, but this isn't some kid trying to fight for a spot in the rotation. This is the pitcher who has been hands down the O's shining light in two dark seasons. He's the guy who posted a 3.63 ERA in 2008, and scrounged up ten wins with virtually no run support.

Jeremy Guthrie

We know exactly what the soon-to-be 30-year-old righty can do. Give him a chance to do it. Let's reserve the freaking out for a time when he's given us an actual reason to.

This spring training has been odd for everybody, and there isn't a manager out there who doesn't wish the WBC wasn't happening. Dave Trembley is no different. He would prefer his pitcher to have been in Florida going through his normal routine, but it didn't happen that way.

I'm sure if the O's could do it over again, they wouldn't have made their desire to have Guthrie return earlier from the WBC public. The best thing the Orioles can do right now is what they've reportedly already done: squash it.

According to my colleague Roch Kubatko, Trembley and Guthrie had a chat this week to smooth out any misunderstandings. That's a good thing.

Guthrie is a fierce competitor who puts more pressure on himself than any coach or fan could. My concern is he takes his job very seriously and therefore takes things to heart.

The Orioles can't afford right now to have him believe they didn't approve of something he did. Guthrie always tries to do the right thing and something like that will only mentally distract him as he prepares for the Yankees on April 6.

The club also doesn't want Guthrie to interpret the early invitation back to camp as a lack of confidence. Remember, it was the Orioles' unwavering confidence in Guthrie that allowed him in 2007 to finally become the pitcher he never was with the Indians. Guthrie will tell you, the biggest reason he feels he never succeeded in Cleveland was that he didn't feel the organization believed in him.

Let's hope Trembley's solid relationship with Guthrie gets everyone back on track. Remember, Guthrie has already been forced to swallow taking a pay cut this season. It was a move that is fully within the Orioles rights under the parameters of the MLB collective bargaining, but it undoubtedly threw Guthrie for a loop.

Luckily the Orioles' ace always keeps any frustrations he may be feeling under wraps. That's why he's a professional and such an asset to the team.

Moving forward, hopefully the focus will shift to more pressing issues surrounding the pitching staff as we count down to Opening Day.