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John Fay
John Fay has been the Reds beat writer for the Enquirer since 2001. Prior to that, he served in a variety of roles for the Enquirer: backup Reds writer, UC beat writer, backup Bengals writer and as a general assignment reporter. He is a Cincinnati native and a graduate of Elder High School and the University of Dayton.

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Monday, March 26, 2007

Don't blow up the blog, but . . .

Eric Milton gave up five home runs in six ininngs 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.

Milton was none too happy.

How did it go?

"It went."

Were you just geting the ball up?

"I don't know. You can't pitch your game. You can't set anyone up."

But you felt OK?

"Yeah. I threw close to 100 pitches. I got my work in."

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.

But $9 million is a lot of eat.


at 3:13 PM Anonymous Tom from Oakwood said...

If it wasn't so sad, it would be funny. As I figure it, the $9 million is already spent. Suck it up, get rid of Milton and move on.

Of course, it's easy for me to say... not my $9 million.

at 3:17 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

4 homers in 5 innings to a Single A team???


at 3:18 PM Blogger BG said...

Anyone got any bright ideas?

at 3:25 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there any chance that Milton gets cut. I know it's a lot of salary to eat, but Milton has not once proven that he's worthy of a roster spot. If he were a minimum wage player, he would've already been cut. It's not like Harang, who has struggled in spring, at least we think we know what he'll pitch like. Milton is terrible. The rotation is better with Livingston and either Belisle or Saarloos in it and no Milton.

at 3:27 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh man!!! They really need to get rid of him. He is gonna lose every game that he plays in if they keep him. I want a winning baseball team for the first time in as long as I can remember (I'm only 19... but still...)

at 3:58 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah $9 mil is a lot to eat, but it's money already spent. The Reds need to put together the best rotation they have based on ability. If the money's already spent, one way or the other, why not put the best rotation together to win?

at 4:00 PM Blogger Dave said...

I've never been a big Eric Milton fan, but you gotta remember it's spring training. He's not pitching his game, he's just trying to get his work in. Give him a few starts and then we can bring up Belisle or Livingston. Still just as good of a chance that they could suck it up just as bad once the real season starts.

at 4:00 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

At this point the Reds seriously need to cut their losses and do whats best for the club and pitching staff as a whole and dump Milton. I wonder what it does to team morale to know this guy is going to be pitching every 5 days?

at 4:10 PM Blogger Laura said...

How much did they eat when they traded LaRue?

at 4:24 PM Blogger RedsFanDennis said...

Tough call. I'd give Milton one game to establish himself into the season, then cut him if it's like the rest. He needs to win more than he loses. So if he starts out by losing, he's done.

Have you heard the rumors about Pineiro being scouted by the Reds? Would he be any better than Hermanson in closing? I don't get it.

at 4:35 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey John, let's say Milton's first two starts of the regular season he gets bombed, what are the odds the Reds bite the bullet and just release him? He can't be on that long of a leash considering his past two seasons and his spring numbers so far..

at 4:42 PM Blogger cincikid said...

Hell ya'll,
Let's hope he gets all of those out of his system before he goes north!
And we wonder why people always choose the Reds at the bottom of the NL Central. Look who our #3 and #4 is!

at 4:53 PM Blogger Ken said...

9mil is alot to eat in April. Why does Milton have to be #3. can't they just make him the #5 guy? That way he doesn't have to pitch as often and give him a few more days rest in between.

at 6:04 PM Blogger Scott in NC said...

I know that it's not fair to Bob Castellini to have to eat any of Milton's contract because he didn't sign him.

However, sometimes you've got to put your money where your mouth is. Castellini said he's going with the "win now" attitude - no need to wait.

With Livingston, Belisle and Burton obviously belonging in the majors, what does it say to the ballclub and to the fans about your "win now" attitude if you send one of them down just to keep Milton?

at 6:06 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The $9 million is already spent. All you would be eating would be the salary of his replacement. He may be the worst pitcher in the majors. At this point he wouldn't make the AAA rotation.

at 7:40 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

the money is gone either way... why pay him to lose for you... I'd rather pay him the 9 mil to go lose for another team... cut your losses now... miltons record and era with the is atrocious do you honestly think belisle or saarloos would post era's over 6.00... if milton cant be traded (he can't) cut him and hope Pittsburgh or Milwalkee signs him... its only fair every other team has been bombs away on him for the last 2 years the reds should get their chance

at 8:34 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a former minor league pitcher I have to point out that spring training is for building arm/leg strength and to work on specific pitches. Since he isn't fighting for a roster spot lets judge his performance when the bell rings.

at 8:50 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any student of economics knows that Milton's $9 mil is a sunk cost. The Reds should not factor it into any decision because it is already spent, they can't get it back. If you have people that can do better, it doesn't make any since to keep Milton.

at 10:38 PM Blogger Justin said...

He is a vetern who doens't have to prove himself in Spring Training. I give him April, and he struggles through April I cut him.

at 11:01 PM Blogger Pat said...

Last year the Reds finished 3.5 games out of first. Give Milton 3 starts this year and it could cost the Reds a chance at the playoffs. Every game counts, even the ones in April. The rotation should be: Harang, Arroyo, Belisle, Livingston, Lohse. But,maybe Saarloos should be #5.

at 11:29 PM Anonymous Deron said...

If Milton is on this club to start the season, it says that this ownership group is no better than the previous one, or the one next door. It would mean the only thing that matters is the bottom line. At this point, it's worth the 9 million to make him go away.

at 5:46 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey John, we should accept that Milton is done. The Reds are thinking Milton is better than Belisle or Livingston? Also, Pineiro than Hermanson?? Are they kidding me???

at 7:49 AM Blogger Eric said...

To Justin: Why doesn't Milton have to prove himself? What has he done in the past 2 seasons that gives him a free pass in Spring Training?

For a team like the Reds, where a small mistake can cost a chance at a divisional championship, one month is too long. For those who want to give Milton 1 start, how will this effect the options of the pitcher who loses out and is demoted for a week?

at 8:57 AM Blogger Scott said...

Milton is simply not physically capable of being a a major league quality pitcher. There is no reason to have him on the roster other than for contractual obligations.

He simply can't live up to the contractual obligation of throwing at the major league level.

at 10:40 AM Blogger Joel said...

The key with Milton is give him two starts with the big boys at the beginning of the year. But along with that, you keep Bobby Livingston on the same rotation as him in AAA or extended spring training. Move Belisle into 4, lohse into 5. That way, you can bring Bobby up and have him on the right rotation spot (Milton's) and Belisle will have a month to prove he can be a 4 and lohse wont have any pressure on him, he does better that way (while livingston and belisle obviously thrive on pressure)

at 10:50 AM Blogger docproc said...

Milton has had two years to earn his place in the rotation and he hasn't done it. We don't owe him several crappy starts in April to prove what we already know. After watching Livingston's masterful performance yesterday, both he and Belisle have earned their way into the rotation. C'mon, Reds--do the right thing.

at 11:26 AM Blogger Josh_G said...

I frimly believe Milton can still be a decent major league pitcher. But, the chances of that happening when half of his starts are in the Great American Smallpark, are greatly reduced. Too bad there is no chance of making a deal with the Nationals for him, Washington would be the ideal fit for him. The Nationals rotation other than Patterson is horrible, and it takes a bomb to hit it out at RFK. But I do not see Kryvski calling up Bowden anytime soon.

at 12:09 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey John,

So is it official that Hermanson is now the Red's closer and not Weathers?

at 12:16 PM Blogger John Fay said...

Based on my e-mail, I'd say Fantasy Baseball drafts are going on. My guess is Dustin Hermanson will be the closer. The Reds haven't announced that and may not. But all signs point to it.

at 3:30 PM Blogger Monroe Anderson said...

The only hope for Milton is that this is the last year on his contract and presumably he wants to get paid again. If Jason Marquis and 6.00 ERA can get 3 years and approximately 25 million from the Cubs, Milton might not be done yet. That said, the Reds need to suck it up and cut him loose. They bit the bullet with Danny Graves and his 6 million, they can do it again.

at 4:19 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only way would should consider pineiro is if the sox take milton in return.

at 9:09 AM Blogger Don said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

at 9:14 AM Blogger Don said...

Agreed, 100%, DocPro. Two years of history on this clown tells me all I need to know, and his spring performance simply reinforces that belief.

If the Reds roll Milton out there as a starter come next month, they are doing so not because they believe is is more deserving than Belisle, Livingston, etc., but simply to save face. There is no way to justify starting Milton based on his performance relative to the performances of other deserving contending starters.

And I'd be even more concerned with his outing yesterday being that the guy said he felt fine.

at 11:06 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's the difference between the
Yankees and the Reds,the Yankees
eat the contract and move on. The
Reds are forced to send him out
every fifth day. If only MLB was
like the NFL.

at 1:51 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Milton has a lot of problems. Looks like he's needed for long relief and mop-up roles unless the Reds decide to eat the $9+ Million. Looks like they've better choices for the 4th and 5th starters positions.

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