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Posts Tagged ‘Kevin Millwood’

With the uncertainty surrounding Phil Hughes health, the Yanks may be left with a gaping hole in their rotation. To recap: after Andy Pettitte announced his retirement, Hughes was widely regarded as the Yankees #2 starter, behind ace CC Sabathia. Near the end of Spring Training, Joe Girardi announced that AJ Burnett would take the number two spot. At the time, the move was seen as bolstering Burnett’s questionable psyche. The Yanks broke camp with a rotation of Sabathia, Burnett, Hughes, rookie Ivan Nova and veteran Freddy Garcia.

Fast forward a month and we’re left with the mind-numbing reality that Hughes is hurt and tried to pitch through it. The results were, in a word, awful. 10 1/3 innings over three starts, allowing 23 baserunners and 16 runs (all earned).

Aside from Sabathia, the other starters still have major question marks. We’ve seen good Aprils before from Burnett, only to watch him fall apart as the season progresses. Right now, his ERA (3.52) is in-line with his career numbers, but that may not be good news: April is his best career month and his ERA progressively worsens until August. Garcia has been lights out so far, but he is an old 35 with a history of arm problems and the weather is warming. Those routine flyballs are about to start going a lot further. Nova has been basically what you expected – a good pitcher for 5 or so innings; then the wheels start to come off. By the second half, once the league has seen him, he may not even get through those 5 innings. Bartolo Colon has stepped in quite nicely so far, with 3.50 ERA over 18 innings. Questions remain regarding his durability, though: this is the first time he’s pitched in two years and he hasn’t tossed more than 99 innings since 2005.

The bullpen is already showing signs of overuse. The pen has thrown 37% of the team’s innings and combined for 64 appearances, in just 20 games. That pace is unsustainable – especially if Rafael Soriano continues to impersonate a piñata every time he takes the mound.

There aren’t any good options available at the moment. Kevin Millwood lurks in the minors, but hasn’t impressed anyone. Since his contract allows an opt-out if he isn’t on the 25 man roster by May 1, it is possible the team makes a minor move by optioning Lance Pendleton and bringing Millwood up. Carlos Silva is also toiling for minor league pay at the moment. Realistically, though, neither of those pitchers can be counted on to replace Hughes’ production. If the Yanks are at the trading deadline with the current rotation mess, they can expect to be held to a king’s ransom for even a middling pitcher – and to have to trade away the farm if they want to make a play for whatever ace is available.

So, the best option is for Hughes to get healthy and regain his form from the first half of last year. And for the Yankees to pray that this isn’t Chien-Ming Wang redux.

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Today has been quite a busy one for Yankees GM Brian Cashman. And he seems to have put an end to all of the questions about the make-up of the pitching staff come opening day.

What it will look like on May 1, though, is anyone’s guess.

The day started with Cashman signing Kevin Millwood to a minor league deal. You may remember Millwood from his days as the supposed ace of the Rangers and Orioles staffs. The fact that he was still available, less than a week before the season opens, tells you all you need to know about baseball’s collective belief in his ability. I even posted a comment on MLBtraderumors.com about how Scranton looked to have some interesting games this year, with Millwood and Kei Igawa being in the same rotation. It’s not a terrible move, since it gave the Yanks plenty of starting depth – even if said depth consists of old retreads.

Then Cashman went one up on himself, trading Sergio Mitre to the Brewers for yet another all field, no-hit minor league outfielder. In so doing, he spared us another season of ragged nails caused by the Experience, as now Milwaukee gets to entertain themselves watching one moon shot after another. Call it addition by subtraction. At least Mitre leaves with a world series ring, something the Brewers kids can oooh and ahhhh over.

All in all, in an interesting and productive day. It seems likely that Bartolo Colon is the 5th starter and Freddy Garcia the swingman, at least for now. If either of them blow up, there’s Millwood in the minors. Whether all of this makes the Yanks better than they were last week remains to be seen, but it could all hinge on what your definition of better is.

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The Yankees open up a three-game series tonight against the Baltimore Orioles in the Bronx. Here are the pitching probables for the series:

Fri: RHP A.J. Burnett (10-13, 5.13) vs RHP Kevin Millwood (3-15, 5.30)

Sat: LHP CC Sabathia (19-6, 3.03) vs RHP Jeremy Guthrie (10-13, 3.74)

Sun: LHP Andy Pettitte (11-2, 2.88) vs RHP Chris Tillman (1-4, 6.32)

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Yankees (35-22) at Orioles (16-41)

Pitching Matchup 

RHP Phil Hughes (7-1, 6.54) vs RHP Kevin Millwood (0-6, 4.29)

Lineup 

Jeter SS
Swisher RF
Teixeira 1B
Rodriguez 3B
Cano 2B
Posada DH
Granderson CF
Cervelli C
Gardner LF (more…)

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The Yankees resume their schedule today, as they open up a three-game series against the Orioles in Baltimore. Here are the pitching probables for the series:

Tue: RHP Phil Hughes (7-1, 2.54) vs RHP Kevin Millwood (0-6, 4.29)

Wed: LHP C.C. Sabathia (5-3 4.14) vs RHP Chris Tillman (0-1, 7.71)

Thurs: RHP A.J. Burnett (6-3, 3.72) vs RHP Jeremy Guthrie (3-6, 3.71)

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Orioles (15-38) at Yankees (33-20)

Pitching Matchup 

LHP C.C. Sabathia (4-3, 4.16) vs RHP Kevin Millwood (0-5, 3.89)

Lineup 

Jeter SS
Swisher RF
Teixeira 1B
Rodriguez 3B
Cano 2B
Posada DH
Granderson CF
Cervelli C
Gardner LF (more…)

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The Yankees open up a three-game series tonight against the Baltimore Orioles in the Bronx. Here are the pitching probables for the series:

Tue: RHP Javier Vazquez (3-5, 6.86) vs LHP Brian Matusz (2-5, 5.76)

Wed: RHP Phil Hughes (6-1, 2.70) vs RHP Brad Bergesen (3-3, 5.96)

Thurs: LHP C.C. Sabathia (4-3, 4.16) vs RHP Kevin Millwood (0-5, 3.89)

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Yankees (12-6) vs Orioles (3-16)

Pitching Matchup:

RHP Phil Hughes (2-0, 2.19) vs RHP Kevin Millwood (0-3, 3.38)

Lineup:

Jeter SS
Gardner LF
Teixeira 1B
Rodriguez 3B
Cano 2B
Posada DH
Granderson CF
Swisher DH
Winn RF (more…)

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The Yankees will open up a three-game series tonight against the Baltimore Orioles. The games will take place at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland. Here are the pitching probables for the series:

Tue: RHP Phil Hughes (2-0, 2.19) vs RHP Kevin Millwood (0-3, 3.38)

Wed: LHP C.C. Sabathia (2-1, 3.00) vs RHP Jeremy Guthrie (0-2, 3.46)

Thurs: RHP A.J. Burnett (2-0, 3.20) vs LHP Brian Matusz (2-0, 4.38)

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