Desperate times: Red Sox considering Kevin Millwood

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Daisuke Matsuzaka joining John Lackey on the disabled list has the Red Sox searching for rotation help and Sean McAdam of CSN New England reports that they’re desperate enough to consider Kevin Millwood.

Millwood signed a minor-league deal with the Yankees near the end of spring training, only to opt out of the contract two weeks ago after a pair of unimpressive starts at Triple-A.

According to McAdam the Red Sox would want Millwood to join the rotation at Triple-A for “a chance to evaluate him further.” It’s unclear if he’d be willing to do that when he wasn’t willing to remain at Triple-A for the Yankees, but at this point the 36-year-old right-hander is going to have to prove himself in the minors for some team before returning to the majors is even an option.

Not only did Millwood go 4-16 with a 5.10 ERA in 31 starts for the Orioles last season, he rarely got his fastball above the mid-80s while pitching at Triple-A last month. He’s also had an ERA above 5.00 in three of the past four seasons, so the Red Sox showing any kind of interest says a lot more about the sorry state of their rotation depth than it does about Millwood’s chances of making a big-league impact again.

Yoenis Cespedes blames a lack of golf for his early season slump

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Back during the 2015 playoffs the sorts of New York media types who love to find reasons to criticize players for petty reasons decided to criticize Yoenis Cespedes for playing golf the day of a playoff game. The Mets won the series with the Cubs during which the controversy, such as it was, occurred and it was soon dropped.

It was picked back up again in 2016 when Cespedes, while on the disabled list with a strained quad, was seen playing golf. Despite the fact that everyone involved said that golf did not contribute to his injury and that golf would have no impact on his injured quad, it was deemed “a bad look” by a columnist looking to get some mileage out of bashing Cespedes for having a hobby that probably half of all ballplayers share. They did it when he showed off his fancy cars too, by the way, even though just about every ballplayer has a fancy car or three. When you’re a superstar in New York — especially when you’re one with whom the media is not particularly close for various reasons — you’re going to catch hell for seemingly nothing.

Now there’s a new twist to the Cespedes golf saga. Yoenis himself says that his poor start — he’s hitting .195/.258/.354 and leads the league in strikeouts — is due to . . . not enough golf! From the New York Times:

He gave a possible reason for the poor start this weekend: not playing enough golf, a hobby beloved by many baseball players. And, yes, he is serious.

“In previous seasons, one of the things I did when I wasn’t going well was to play golf,” he said after a game on Friday in which he struck out four times but still drove in the go-ahead run in the 12th inning. “This year, I’m not playing golf.”

The story says Cespedes quit golf last summer because he worried that it was contributing to hamstring problems. He’s thinking about going back to it soon, as he thinks it’ll help his swing. Given that he’ll catch hell either way, he may as well do what he wants.