February 21, 2007
Milton is a Winner
The numbers back it up. The man has had 8 full big league seasons and only twice posted a losing record. We need to get off his back.. perhaps being an ace of a terrible staff was too much of a burden (2005) but as a #3 he is very solid and as long as he is healthy we are above-average at that slot. I am rooting for him big-time. In fact when I attended a game in 2005 I was shouting encouragement to him and he pitched a shutout for several innings. We need to get behind this guy and believe in him, he has the talent and the potential to be the difference maker this season.
I think Milton will be okay if he stays healthy. He was healthy in spring training and to start the season, and got off to a real good start last year, then three games into the season he got hurt (knee). Just as he started getting back in a groove after the first injury, he got hurt again (elbow). Probably should have gone on the DL and had surgery, but the team was in a pennant race so he tried to play through it and kept taking the ball. Well, nobody can say this guy’s not a competitor.
Now, some guys in the press ripped him for that, saying he should have gone on the DL, that he hurt the team by trying to pitch while he was injured. As if we had someone to take his place. We ran detritus out there as the #5 starter for most of 2006. If Milton had gone on the DL, where were we gonna get a #3 when we couldn’t even come up with a #5?
In my defense I wrote this diary entry after drinking about 12 beers.
I think Milton contributed a great deal to the team’s improvement last year. If he improves as much in his third year with the Reds as he did in his second, we could be looking at a very solid #3.
And Milton’s got a lot of incentive. It is his contract year, after all.