A sonnet for Eric Milton. Heh.
Meanwhile, Doc Scott wonders whether the Reds have it in them to ditch Milton. I agree with most of this:
As of this particular moment, I think I’d give Milton a handful of starts in April and have my baseball personnel watch him closely. If the results aren’t good and there’s a consensus that his stuff isn’t up to par (as well as lacking some plausible and compelling reason why it might improve as the season goes on), then I ditch him via waiver or contract-eating trade and bring up Belisle. Meanwhile, Livingston’s starting every fifth day in Louisville and gets the next shot should attrition or ineffectiveness take Matt down.
The risk in this approach, of course, is that Uncle Milty helps the Reds dig a hole with some early bombings, sort of like 2005. But that could be true of anyone at the back end of the Reds’ rotation.
Where I differ is that I wouldn’t have Matt Belisle in AAA. At minimum, let Belisle pitch long relief out of the bullpen; at best, why not stick him in the rotation, regardless of Milton’s presence?