When Kevin Millwood got off to a solid start this year pitching for the Orioles, that was good to see. It meant he was helping the club, but also boosting his trade value for the trade deadline.
A lot has changed since then.
Millwood is now struggling badly in the first inning of his starts and that’s not the only inning that has been an issue for him.
All the key numbers for him are very poor over his last seven starts, capped by his outing today when he gave up five runs in the first inning at Detroit and did not pitch beyond that.
It’s becoming increasingly apparent that Millwood has gone from someone most clubs could want at the deadline to someone that now almost no one may want to acquire.
With a salary this year of $12 million, and at age 35, his trade value is dropping fast.
Millwood in 2010:
First 11 starts: 0-5, 3.89.......268 avg against........12 homers.
Last seven starts: 2-3, 9.89.....379 avg against......8 homers.
Millwood pitched six innings or more in nine of those first 11 starts but has done that just once in the last seven starts.
His ERA for the year is up to 5.77.
It’s hard to know what might be the trouble right now. Did he carry too heavy an innings load over the first two months? Has he lost any zip on his fastball?
He has said after a couple of recent outings that his location has been poor, and after one outing he was honest to admit he was just thinking too much out there as he tried to turn it around.
From a reporter’s standpoint, Millwood has been tremendous to deal with this year - available, open and honest.
He’s a gamer and has provided a good example of a quality work ethic for the club’s young pitchers.
But at this point, what contending team is going to want to acquire a 35-year-old hurler with an ERA of 9.89 over his last seven games?