March 26, 2007

Uncle Miltie Goes to School

Perhaps not Milton's favorite venueAs we pulled into the Ed Smith complex today, we noticed a minor league game going on in one of the practice fields. It looked like the Pirates.

In fact, it was some guys from the Pirates' organization. A-level, I guess. However, Eric Milton was pitching for the Reds, getting his work in. John Fay has the details:

Eric Milton gave up five home runs in six innings to the Single-A Pirates. He gave up 11 hits and threw 93 pitches. The wind was blowing out, but it was less than 100 mph.

You can't put much stock in the spring stats, and Single-A players swing from the heels against a big leaguer, but Milton is becoming PR nightmare for the Reds. Matt Belisle has a 2.08 ERA; Bobby Livingston has a 1.23 ERA and one of them is going to start the year in Triple-A. Milton is 16-23 with 5.89 ERA in two years with the Reds and he's getting a spot on track record.

Rumor has it that the Reds are still actively looking for pitching (yeah, but who isn't?). Maybe they're not looking for yet more competition in the fifth slot, huh?

6 comments to “Uncle Miltie Goes to School”

  1. smartelf says:

    Milton should be traded for a team desperate for pitching. The Yankees might want him.. We should not be picky in what we get back… we just want to move his salary. If we get a prospect fine, if not, ok whatever. Let’s just get him outta GABP and clear the way for Livingston, Belisle and Saarloos to all make this club. We still have Elizardo and Homer Bailey if the unexpected should happen and we need mroe arms. We have a surplus and Milton has been the weak link for a long time now.. this is a no-brainer. The only thing I like about Milton is that he can hit… other than that he worries me in every possible way.

  2. smartelf says:

    Not to mention if we clear his salary off the books we can always go get a better 1B to replace Conine if necessary. We will have liquidity to patch up the roster mid season depending on where we need help the most.

  3. KC2HMZ says:

    In a perfect world, I’d agree with smartelf. But it’s not going to be easy to find a trading partner in a deal involving Milton. He’s been brutal for at least two years in a row, he’s coming off surgery, and he’s getting his ass handed to him by A-ball kids barely out of high school. Nobody’s going to take his $9 million salary in a trade.

    I don’t 100% buy everything John Fay wrote. I don’t care if the wind *is* blowing out and the guys *are* coming out of their shoes on every swing. This is supposedly a major league pitcher facing a bunch of kids from Single-A! Anybody want to stand up and say they think Harang or Arroyo would give up five dingers in six innings against the same lineup? And Milton hasn’t exactly looked like Cy Young when he’s faced big-league hitters, either. I’m seriously concerned.

    Fay is, however, correct in his observation about basing roster decisions solely on a player’s performance in spring training games. I wouldn’t hand Livingston a roster slot and eat $9 million of Milton’s contract just based on Livingston’s performance at Sarasota. But if the season gets started and Milton’s still getting smacked around like a rag doll and Livingston’s still sporting a sub-2.00 ERA down in Louisville, I hope the Reds brass has the stones to cut bait before any chance of making the playoffs goes down the drain.

  4. smartelf says:

    Livingston showed me more heart, poise, and stuff than Milton has in 2+ years and I don’t care if that was a spring training game or not, there was a lot of media presence and pressure. I’m ready to swap them in the rotation as of now. We have plenty of other options if I am wrong.

  5. smartelf says:

    I forgot to mention that my nemesis Ken Rosenthal was interviewed by Jeff Brantley and Thom Brennaman… the guy is such a tool.. but he did point out that the reason he grades our pitching low is because of MILTON… he completely called him out by saying he is a big time drop off after Harang and Arroyo… everyone in the league sees this. Its time to make gutsy aggressive decisions. Of course we need to shop Milton around first and if we get offered anythhing we’ll take it.. otherwise maybe give him one start and then relegate him… If we had no better options that would be one thing, but between Belisle, Livingston, Elizardo, Home Bailey, and even Victor Santos, I am ready to move on and I hope the GM and manager feel the same way.

  6. DPardue says:

    There is no shortage of excuses for Milton’s continued poor performances. He said he needed to add lower body strength. That was supposed to help. He is also trying work on his sinker, which according to his own words, “Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not”. Now it is the wind. At what point will the consensus be that this guy hasn’t had it since he has been with the Reds, doesn’t have it, and never will? It is time the organization did what is best for the team and forget about how this effects Milton. He’ll still take home a $9 million paycheck regardless.