Joe Torre said this morning that there is still a chance club officials will want Schmidt to begin the season with a couple of rehab starts before he is thrown directly into the fire. That would require him starting the season on the disabled list, something you can’t legally do unless the player is injured. But because Schmidt has been battling his way back from an injury for such a long time and hasn’t pitched in a regular-season major-league game at any point since undergoing his first shoulder operation in June 2007, it would be easy enough to make the case that this is still part of the recovery process. The problem as I understand it is that Jason is still learning to trust his body after all the adversity he has been through over the past couple of years. Joe said the first two or three outings — the second one is tomorrow against Oakland — are there for Jason to hopefully get that secure feeling back, and only then will he start to build up his innings in preparation for starting during the season. With only three weeks left in camp, that might not allow enough time for Jason to be game-ready by the fifth game of the season on April 10 at Arizona, which is when he would make his first start if he becomes the fifth starter. … Eric Milton, another fifth-starter candidate, gave up six consecutive hits in the first inning, including a bomb to left by Ryan Spilborghs and then a bunch of singles. If Xavier Paul hadn’t gunned down Dan Ortmeier trying to go first-to-third, the inning might have gone on much longer. As it is, the Rockies have a 4-0 lead after 1.