August 10, 2011
Kevin Millwood returned to the major leagues on Wednesday with the Colorado Rockies, who changed their rotation and their bullpen in one day.
The 36-year-old Millwood spent the rest of the season in the minors with the Yankees and Red Sox. He started Wednesday night against the Cincinnati Reds, his first appearance in the majors since last September with Baltimore.
The Rockies also called up right-handed reliever Edgar Gonzalez from Triple-A Colorado Springs to help their depleted bullpen. They put right-hander Matt Lindstrom on the 15-day disabled list because of soreness by his right arm and optioned infielder Ian Stewart to Colorado Springs to work on his hitting.
Millwood went 4-16 with Baltimore last season, allowing a career-high 30 home runs. The Orioles scored only 3.28 runs in his starts, second-lowest in the American League.
The right-hander signed a minor league deal with the Yankees in March, but opted out of it when he wasn’t called up by May 1. He signed with Boston on May 20 and was released Friday. He has a career record of 159-137.
“We’re sending a lot of know-how out there today,” manager Jim Tracy said.
Millwood takes the place of right-hander Juan Nicasio, who had neck surgery after he was hit by a line drive on Friday. Nicasio has a cracked bone in his neck.
Lindstrom was 2-1 with a 2.89 ERA and two saves in 50 appearances. Tracy said the soreness by his arm isn’t serious and could have healed in a few days, but the club couldn’t afford to be short-handed in the bullpen.
“It’s not that he can’t throw,” Tracy said. “He’s just not comfortable with the way the ball is coming out.”
Gonzalez, 28, will be making his first appearance with the Rockies. He last pitched in the majors in 2009 with Oakland.
Stewart was batting .156 in 48 games with six RBIs.
Ubaldo wins first for Tribe
Ubaldo Jimenez showed why Cleveland traded for him, winning his home debut and rookie Jason Kipnis went 5-for-5 with four runs and three RBIs as the Indians shaved another game off Detroit’s lead in the AL Central by beating the Tigers 10-3.
With its 13th straight win at Progressive Field over Detroit, Cleveland closed within two games of first place — and the Indians will have a chance to sweep the Tigers for the second time this year. That is, if they can beat Justin Verlander today.
Jimenez (1-0), acquired in a blockbuster deal from Colorado at the trading deadline, allowed three runs and six hits in eight power-packed innings. He struck out six and walked one.
Cleveland gave up four minor league prospects, including top pitchers Alex White and Drew Pomeranz, to the Rockies for Jimenez, who won 19 games last season. Acta admitted that parting with so much talent was painful, but worth it to acquire a pitcher of Jimenez’s stature. After two appearances, the bold move is already paying off.
Nicasio out of hospital
Rockies pitcher Juan Nicasio was released from a Denver hospital Wednesday and is resting comfortably at home, five days after breaking his neck after being hit with a batted ball during last Friday’s game against Washington.
“This is the best news to be able to come out and tell you this,” manager Jim Tracy told the Denver Post. “We want to make sure he knows how much his teammates, coaches and fans are thinking about him.”
Nicasio fractured his C1 vertebra after being hit by Ian Desmond’s line drive.
Nicasio’s mother, Aurelia Prado, is hopeful she can visit her son this week from the Dominican Republic. The paperwork is moving along smoothly, the team said, to secure Prado a Visa to visit Denver.