Will Kevin Millwood ever see time in Pinstripes? The Yankee hierarchy will have to answer that question within the next few days, as he has the ability to opt out of his contract this Sunday, May 1st. Despite the speculation, I'm not so sure he will opt out, if he'll even be given the chance. He did not receive much attention during free agency, and so far, the scouting reports on him are not too favorable. The Yankees also have the option of calling him up and placing him in the rotation or the bullpen, while sending down Lance Pendleton or Buddy Carlyle.
Jayson Stark of the four-letter network had this to say about Millwood. Let's just say his glass isn't half full when it comes to the veteran:
Scouts covering the Yankees system continue to report that Millwood "doesn't look very good," despite a 2-0 record and 1.29 ERA in two minor league starts. His fastball has averaged 85 miles per hour. His strikeout-walk ratio is just 6-to-5 in 14 innings. And it's tough to argue he's an upgrade on either Freddy Garcia or Bartolo Colon -- for now.
Despite reports that Millwood hasn't looked good, his numbers have been strong. In his first start, he threw a complete game shutout for the Trenton Thunder. In his second start, he threw seven innings of two-run ball for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, and also topped out at 89 mph. His line right now: 2-0, 1.29 ERA, 0.929 WHIP, 5.1 H/9, 3.9 K/9, and a 1.20 K/BB. Sometimes, it's hard to argue with production.
Ivan Nova turned in a very strong outing on Tuesday night, and his next scheduled start is Sunday, against the Blue Jays. Another strong start will most likely keep him in the rotation. If he gets lit up? Who knows. Anyone else find it a coincidence that his next start is on Millwood's opt out date?
Mike Axisa thinks Nova is on notice, not Freddy Garcia or Bartolo Colon. With the way those two have pitched, I agree.
Have at it Yankee fans, what should the back end of the rotation look like?