Evan Grant thinks the Rangers need to think long and hard about whether or not Kevin Millwood is going to stay in the team's rotation -- not just for financial reasons, but for baseball reasons:
According to the MLB.com boxscore, Millwood hit 90 mph with just two of his 69 pitches. Both came in Franklin Gutierrez’s fourth-inning at bat with two outs. The second, Gutierrez ripped for a two-run double. For the most part, though, Millwood’s fastball ranged from 86-88 mph. His changeup sat at 83-84. When your fastball and changeup are bunched that closely in velocity, you aren’t going to fool anybody. The slider registered 81-83 mph. And so, unless it had David Cone’s sweeping break, batters could look for the fastball and still be able to hit the slider. Millwood had decent success with his curve, which dropped down to the 70-71 mph range. He got a pair of strikeouts on the curve, including one of Ichiro Suzuki. And yet, he threw the curve only five times.
It raises this question: Is he healthy?
Washington said he asked Millwood that and Millwood responded in the affirmative. The media asked Millwood the same question and he responded that he absolutely physically felt fine.
Except I’m still not sure. Remember the start of the second half of the season? The Rangers gave Millwood, who had spent the first half of the season as their most effective starter, extra rest. He went nine days between his last start of the first half and his first of the second. And in his second start following the break, he left after just two innings with a strained gluteus maximus muscle.
He has not been the same since.
Also some discussion of Ron Washington backing off his earlier statement that Millwood would start on Friday...good article, check it out...