Will Kevin Millwood Pitch For Orioles Again?

ST PETERSBURG FL - SEPTEMBER 29: Pitcher Kevin Millwood #34 of the Baltimore Orioles pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during the game at Tropicana Field on September 29 2010 in St. Petersburg Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)

Might free agent Kevin Millwood return to the Orioles, for whom he toiled in 2010? According to MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli, management has kicked around the idea:

The Orioles are, at least, considering the possibility of bringing back veteran Kevin Millwood, although it remains to be seen if the right-hander -- who opted out of his contract with the Yankees on Sunday -- would accept a Minor League deal.

Millwood was 4-16 with a 5.10 ERA in 31 starts with Baltimore in 2010, and given the team's lack of starting-rotation depth, the O's have kicked around the idea.

--snip--

Showalter bristled when a media member asked if the sentiment around Millwood in the Orioles organization was "been there, done that."

"I think that's a little cold for a guy like Kevin," he said. "If you are looking at it purely statistically, you can say whatever you want to say. But I kind of feel a little bit more as Kevin is a human being than some slab of meat that pitches. He's a good man. He's professional and a lot of times last year, that 'been there, done that' was pretty good for the Orioles, OK?"

Spoken like a real Baseball Man.

Millwood's last year was ... um, interesting. He made 31 starts and pitched 191, which was no doubt valuable on a team stocked mostly with young, tender-armed pitchers.

He won four of those 31 starts, thus becoming only the fourth pitcher since World War II to start at least 30 games and win fewer than five of them. Millwood did deserve a better fate -- anyone would -- but his 5.10 ERA wasn't exactly sparkling and at this point in his career he just gives up too many home runs.

In his rehab outings with the Yankees last month, he gave up three home runs in nine triple-A innings.

All of which is neither here nor there, really. Kevin Millwood is a replacement-level pitcher, at best, but there's obviously a place in the game, and sometimes even the majors, for replacement-level pitchers.

I just don't figure how there's a place for him on the Orioles.

The Orioles have four young starters in their rotation. One of them, Brad Bergesen, maybe shouldn't be. They've also got a veteran, Jeremy Guthrie, who's plenty reliable. And as Ghiroli notes, (young) Brian Matusz and (veteran) Justin Duchscherer might both return to action before June. Which could give the Orioles seven starting pitchers, at least five of whom could pitch for most major-league teams.

Unless the Orioles need a mentor for the guys in triple-A Norfolk, I just don't see a fit here. More like a misfit.

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