Millwood goes from Opening Day starter to looking for job opening

Right-hander is staying in shape in Southern California; 'I still want to play and still feel like there is a lot left,' he says

February 23, 2011|By Dan Connolly, The Baltimore Sun

Right-hander Kevin Millwood, who was the Orioles' Opening Day starter last season, is now in Irvine, Calif., working out and waiting for a job.

For the past week, Millwood, 36, has been training at a Southern California facility run by his agent, Scott Boras. Millwood works out every morning, running, lifting weights and throwing. Every two to three days he has thrown a bullpen side session, and he expects to pitch to college hitters next week.

"I am just kind of keeping going, staying in shape and getting my arm ready to go when something does happen," Millwood said.

Now a free agent, Millwood was 4-16 with a 5.10 ERA in 31 starts with the Orioles in 2010. He had a disastrous stint in June and July, posting an 8.94 ERA in nine starts. In the first two months and final two months of 2010, spanning 22 starts, Millwood posted a 3.78 ERA. A lack of run support cost him, though, and he lost his first eight decisions of the season.

In 2009, Millwood was 13-10 with a 3.67 ERA in 31 starts with the Texas Rangers before he was dealt to the Orioles that December.

The Orioles had lukewarm interest in re-signing Millwood this winter but used their funds in other areas. The New York Yankees have been linked to Millwood, but the sides have not been able to work out a deal. At various points in the offseason, Millwood drew interest from the Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Royals and Colorado Rockies, among others.

One team that could be a potential fit is the St. Louis Cardinals, which might have lost ace Adam Wainwright for an extended period because of an injury he suffered Monday. Wainwright was sent back to St. Louis on Wednesday to have his right elbow examined, and it is thought he might need surgery — which would be a significant blow to the perennially contending Cardinals.

For now, Millwood is relegated to a waiting game, hoping someone provides an opportunity. It's the first time since 1997 that he isn't assured of pitching in the majors.

"It's definitely a little strange, but I still want to play and still feel like there is a lot left and I feel like I can contribute in a good way," he said. "So I am kind of hanging out and making sure I am ready to go when and if somebody needs me."

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