SEATTLE — Kevin Millwood’s turn in the Seattle Mariners rotation came and went without Millwood pitching Monday, and there’s some question whether the veteran right-hander will throw another pitch this season.
Millwood, 37, won his sixth game last week but came out after five innings when his right shoulder hurt too much for him to continue.
Is it better now?
“Yeah, but I haven’t done anything,” Millwood said. “I haven’t picked up a baseball since.”
Tests in Texas showed inflammation but no damage, and as Millwood said, most pitchers are working with some kind of inflammation by mid-season every year.
“Had I felt it before my last start? Sure, but it wasn’t anything that I couldn’t deal with,” Millwood said. “Last time out, it got worse.”
Millwood may make another start — his 29th of 2012 — but it’s just as likely he’s done for the season.
“We’ve got kids the team wants to look at,” Millwood said, meaning Hector Noesi and Erasmo Ramirez. “That’s a factor. We haven’t made a decision yet, so I really don’t know whether I’ll pitch again.”
Either way, he said, his ultimate off-season decision on whether to return for a 17th major league season next year won’t be impacted by the state of his right shoulder today.
“Over the course of the season, everyone pitches with something hurting,” he said. “You break down, get better and pitch until something else breaks down. This isn’t that serious.
“If we were in the race, I’d pitch.”
One of the first things rookie Lucas Luetge plans to do in his offseason is attend a county fair near his home in rural Texas.
“I always went as a kid and I showed pigs there for years,” Luetge said. “I won for showmanship three years in a row — I was good at showing off a pig.”
After his first big-league season, is Luetge prepared to buy one of the pigs at the fair?
“I’d like to help the programs I was part of, but some of these winning pigs now go for like $10,000,” he said. “I might buy a pig that finished a little lower than first place.”
Think the Mariners have scrambled their lineup in 2012? They’ve used 127 different lineups in their first 148 games — and tried eight different leadoff hitters. The last time they used more was 1999 (10). … Casper Wells told writers his neck was better after two days of physical therapy, but he did it looking straight ahead. Wells can turn to his left, but not his right, and was not available Monday. The hope is he might be available tonight vs. left-hander pitcher Wei-Yin Chen. … Kyle Seager began the game Monday with 18 home runs and 81 RBI, and if he gets to 20 home runs and 90 RBI, he’ll become just the third third baseman in franchise history with 20 home runs, 30 doubles and 90 RBI. The first two? Adrian Beltre (2007) and current Orioles batting coach Jim Presley (1986).
Larry LaRue, The News Tribune