As rumored yesterday, Kevin Millwood will start for Colorado on Wednesday after opting out of his minor-league deal with the Red Sox to sign with the Rockies.
Millwood went 4-16 with a 5.10 ERA for the Orioles last season and didn’t pitch particularly well for the Yankees and Red Sox at Triple-A this year, but the Rockies need someone to eat innings with Juan Nicasio out and the 36-year-old right-hander fits the bill at the cost of just a prorated minimum salary.
How long Millwood will remain in the rotation is unclear, but his first matchup is a relatively favorable one. Not only does he avoid Coors Field, making the start on the road in Cincinnati, the Reds’ lineup ranks just ninth among NL teams with a .714 OPS versus right-handed pitching.
Major League Baseball has announced the umpiring crew for the World Series. John Hirschbeck is the crew chief. It’s his fifth World Series assignment, third as a crew chief.
A surprising name on the crew is Joe West. It’ll be his sixth World Series overall, but first since 2012. There had been chatter for several years that Major League Baseball was making a more concerted effort to get its best umpires into the World Series more often while minimizing the appearances of its weakest umpires. Most assumed West’s absence from the Fall Classic in recent years, despite his seniority, was a function of that. Maybe they’re still making merit a priority and maybe West has just improved? I’ll leave that for you to judge.
Anyway, here is the lineup of umps for Game 1. They will rotate after that, of course. If the series goes six games, Cowboy Joe will be calling the balls and strikes:
Home plate: Larry Vanover
1B: Chris Guccione
2B: John Hirschbeck
3B: Marvin Hudson
LF: Tony Randazzo
RF: Joe West
Replay Official for Games 1-2: Sam Holbrook (with assistance from Todd Tichenor)
Replay Official for Games 3-7: Larry Vanover (with assistance from Todd Tichenor)