Let's just go ahead and pencil Kevin Millwood in as the Colorado Rockies opening day starter in 2012.
Well, alright, that may have been generous, but all of these reports and the speculation about the Rockies giving Millwood an invitation to spring training are underselling his performance just as much (if not more) than my opening sentence oversold it.
When you look around baseball and see the lack of depth in about 25 out of 30 rotations, assuming Millwood's arm doesn't fall off in his next couple starts, someone, or many someones, will be willing to guarantee him a spot on their 40-man roster. He's been that good for the Colorado Rockies since coming on board.
He's a veteran presence. His approach to the game is as impressive as I've seen from any Rockies starting pitcher. Think about it, the Rockies haven't had many pitchers in their lifetime that have established themselves in the game like Millwood, and have had success as long as Millwood has.
And how could they? Those pitchers aren't going to willingly come to Colorado, and no pitcher the Rockies develop is going to last that long in Denver. There's just no way. So this is something different and its something positive.
The Rockies desperately need different and a positive influence involved with these young pitchers, so upping the ante just a touch to make sure Millwood stays around would be a savvy move in my opinion. It shouldn't take too much because I'm sure he'll be appreciative of the opportunity, but it'll need to be more than a minor league deal.
Rockies 6, Brewers 2 (boxscore)
-- By the way, here's Millwood's line for the night: 6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, WIN
-- Wilin Rosario hasn't displayed a lot of discipline or patience at the plate, but we already knew that was going to be the case going in. We also knew he was capable of flashing some power, and so far he's done that as well. I'm more than pleased with what I've seen so far.
--This was a really good night for the top of the order.
Dexter Fowler: Hit, walk, two runs
Mark Ellis: FOUR hits, two runs, RBI
Carlos Gonzalez: Home run, three RBIs
I'll specifically point out how well Ellis has played since getting consistent playing time again after the Jonathan Herrera injury. I'm sure Ellis still sees himself as a regular. That's fine. I don't necessarily agree with that, but like Millwood, I think the Rockies could do much worse than bringing him back as a real good defender that can hit high or low in the order.
Granted, it hurts he doesn't offer much position versatility, but the guys Dan O'Dowd has brought in with position versatility (Melvin Mora, Ty Wigginton, Jose Lopez) in recent seasons have flopped and handcuffed the team. Bring back Ellis, and then really focus on a guy who can play both short and second in a pinch, since Pacheco figures to log time at first and third.
The Rockies begin a four-game series with the San Francisco Giants on Thursday. That means they have an opportunity to contribute to the Giants demise in 2011. I'm all for that!