PADRES UPDATE : NOTEBOOK : Rosenberg Ready for Next Role


Left-handed reliever Steve Rosenberg just reached his locker Sunday afternoon after the Padres’ 3-2 victory when Joe McIlvaine, Padre general manager, reached him with the news.

“You might have blown your start,”McIlvaine said, “but hey, I’ll take the win.”

Rosenberg, who pitched a perfect eighth inning and set up the save for Craig Lefferts, just laughed, shook his head, and wondered if maybe he was better off not starting anyway.

Rosenberg, 0-0, 1.35 ERA, was expected to make Tuesday’s start against the Atlanta Braves, but after appearing Sunday, it appears that the Padres might now go with Jose Melendez, 6-0, 3.70 of triple-A Las Vegas.


“I think we’re on about Plan E,” McIlvaine said.

Rosenberg started 21 games for the Chicago White Sox in 1999, but since has pitched solely in relief. Yet, with the imminent departure of Eric Nolte, the Padres need a starter for Tuesday, and Rosenberg remains a viable candidate.

“I’m excited about it if it happens,” said Rosenberg, who arrived with Adam Peterson in the spring training trade with the Chicago White Sox. “I know I can do it, because I’ve done it before.

“But to be honest about it, I’ve got a little mixed emotions becuase I’ve bee doing a good job in the bullpen.

“Besides, I remember what happened in Chicago.”

It was two years ago with the White Sox when Rosenberg was converted from a reliever to a starter. He made 21 starts, going 4-13 with a 4.94 ERA. But when he went to spring training last season, not only was he bounced from the rotation, but out of the major leagues, spending all but six games in triple-A Vancouver.

“I still don’t know what happened,” Rosenberg said. “I was doing fine in the bullpen, they flipped me the ball to start, and instead instead of putting me back in the bullpen they put me out of the major leauges.

“So when people ask what my preference is, I tell them, ‘My preference is just to stay in the big leagues.’ ”


This time, though, it will be different. No matter how Rosenberg fares Tuesday, he’ll return to the bullpen, clearing way for Dennis Rasmussen to join the starting rotation. And if Melendez starts, he’ll be shipped back to Las Vegas after his performance.