Brushing Up On Kevin Millwood

Millwood is a little bit boring.  He doesn't have strikeout stuff and there really isn't anything he does that makes this intrepid blogger shout.  It's more of a brow-furrowing consternation at his success.  Why?  I just find it difficult to believe that his fairly average looking fastball (four seamer according to the average rise) gets sinker-type results.  His in play results are so good that he can throw his fastball almost 3/4 of the time to righties, for a .138 ISO.  He manages similar success against lefties, though to a somewhat lesser degree (.192, still substantially short of my .250-.300 expectation) . The curve gets a substantial uptick in 2 strike counts where he's ahead, but otherwise it's a slider unworthy of whiffs and a fastball that on average doesn't break 92. And that curve has gotten hit pretty well in 1-2 counts so far, so it's not like it's really getting the job done.  But both offspeed pitches have similar ISO success.  The LHB/RHB splits are .182/.092 and .062/.209 for the curve and slider respectively.  Consequently, we see Millwood favors the curve against righties and sliders against lefties, though in neither case does Millwood throw the curve more than 10% of the time.

As long as Millwood is throwing strikes, he's tough.  Far from dominant and probably prone to an excess of singles thanks to poor up the middle defense, but tough.  His key weaknesses are walk issues against lefties and allowing a decent amount of power to righties with the slider.  Since both the fastball and slider play to Q and JD's strengths, I think we'll see a good chance both have nice days.  In the very least, we'll find out what Millwood's ground ball tendencies are really like.

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