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View Full Version : Tom Browning tweaks Milton's delivery angle, rubber position



jmcclain19
02-26-2006, 03:54 AM
Perhaps the simple change is the most effective?

http://www.journal-news.com/sports/content/sports/stories/2006/02/26/HJN022606reds_web.html


Reds' Milton tries out other side
Ex-Red Browning offers fellow lefty a pitching suggestion

SARASOTA, Fla. — Call it “The Moving of Eric Milton.”

Guest instructor Tom Browning, a left-hander who knows a thing or four about pitching, watched lefty Milton throw at the Cincinnati Reds spring training complex and decided to make a suggestion.

Browning saw Milton standing on the third-base side of the pitching rubber. Browning pitched with his foot on the first-base side of the rubber.

Uncertain about the reception, Browning approached Milton cautiously, but discovered he is ready to stand on his head and whistle “Sweet Home Alabama” while chewing Saltines if it will help him avoid what happened last year: 8-15 with a 6.47 earned-run average in 34 starts.

“I tried it out while throwing batting practice Friday,” Milton said. “It felt good. I’ve always had good control, so it didn’t throw me off. (Coach) Billy Connors moved me to the third-base side when I pitched with the Yankees.

“I throw across my body, and he thought it would be easier to get inside on right-handed hitters,” Milton said. “With Browning’s theory, by moving to the first-base side, it is farther to throw to get inside on a right-hander, but the angle is better. It seemed like (Friday) they weren’t getting very good swings, not seeing pitches inside, so it is encouraging.”

Milton plans to stick with it for the time being.

Browning said he sat with Milton before batting practice Friday, “And we tossed things back and forth. I wanted to open him up to a different side to change the angle of his delivery. I told him, ‘I don’t think you understand how much more effective you can be against right-handers on the first-base side.’ ”

Browning said the move should make his cut fastball more effective and enable him to more easily jam right-handers. Last year, Milton started too many of his pitches over the plate, “And that wasn’t good in that baby ballpark (Great American Ball Park) we play in.”

Milton gave up 40 home runs, 35 to right-handers, who hit .302 against him.

harangatang
02-26-2006, 04:01 AM
I also heard awhile back that Danny Graves' problem was that he was tipping his pitches. :D

pedro
02-26-2006, 04:06 AM
I don't see much harm in trying anything at this point. If anyone knows anything about getting batters out without any stuff it's Tom Browning. If he can teach that I'm all for it.

Chip R
02-26-2006, 07:33 AM
Hope springs eternal.

redsmetz
02-26-2006, 07:53 AM
I know folks love to bash Milton, but I've got to give him credit for coming into this season determined to be a better pitchers. The truth is, despite last year, the guy wasn't chop liver all the time in his career. I thought last year that guys like Browning (or for that matter, Jack Billingham) could teach these pitchers a thing or two (or four, as McCoy just said) about pitching smarter.

wheels
02-26-2006, 10:22 AM
I know folks love to bash Milton, but I've got to give him credit for coming into this season determined to be a better pitchers. The truth is, despite last year, the guy wasn't chop liver all the time in his career. I thought last year that guys like Browning (or for that matter, Jack Billingham) could teach these pitchers a thing or two (or four, as McCoy just said) about pitching smarter.

I'm sorry, but brains, work ethic, and good advice do not trump an ongoing injury.

Krusty
02-26-2006, 10:24 AM
If Milton can knock his home run totals down by a third, that will be a plus.

wheels
02-26-2006, 11:54 AM
If Milton can knock his home run totals down by a third, that will be a plus.

Not much of one unless he cuts down on extra base hits in general.

The guy's OPSA has been astronomical over the last two years.

For those of us wishing to point to past "success" as a barometer for what Milton could do next year, remember that 2004 wasn't close to good (he was lucky to even be as "good" as he was that year).

He's had absolutely zero success since his knee surgery.

Little Alex
02-26-2006, 12:09 PM
Count me among the optimistic as well.

Sometimes, especially coming off of an injury for example, people just have an off year.

And sometimes, something really basic like switching from 1st to 3rd on the rubber, makes a big difference.

Heck, he can't get any WORSE. (shudder)

TOBTTReds
02-26-2006, 12:15 PM
What is this all about??? Where is his ego? RA hardly wants to try playing 3B bc of his ego, and Milton is willing to change his positioning on the rubber (which is a big deal for a pitcher).

I've never understood why a lefty would stand on the 3B side of the rubber, completely takes away and advantages a lefty would have and now you just turn into a guy whos arm followed through right down the middle of the plate. Same for a righty standing on the 1B side, doesn't make sense.

Falls City Beer
02-26-2006, 12:49 PM
My dream is to one day follow a team that doesn't need to tweak its veterans' style to achieve success.

djsauter
02-26-2006, 01:26 PM
Oh well. It can't hurt.

He can't possibly get worse, can he?

KronoRed
02-26-2006, 01:36 PM
Heck, he can't get any WORSE. (shudder)
Actually he can, and I expect it to happen this year or next.

ERA above 9 and the Reds are forced to cut him, hope I'm wrong.

nkufan
02-26-2006, 02:14 PM
Eric Milton deserves alot of credit for trying to get better. He works hard he might suck but at least it tries to get better. I think his era will be around 4.25 which is that great but is 2 runs better than last year.

dougdirt
02-26-2006, 02:19 PM
nkufan, what leads you to believe that Milton can lower his ERA by over 2 complete points from last year? I dont want to be rude, I was just wondering what led you to that.

westofyou
02-26-2006, 02:23 PM
but I've got to give him credit for coming into this season determined to be a better pitchers.

Any pitcher who shows up without that as a goal is selling insurance in his home town.

forfreelin04
02-26-2006, 04:41 PM
"Milton gave up 40 home runs, 35 to right-handers, who hit .302 against him."

That many HR to right handers and only 5 to lefties is simply amazing. I wonder if we could just call mulligan when the right handers come up and then have him pitch to just lefties? Prolly not. On the bright side, Browning's reccomendation should do him a great deal of good. Often times the smallest tweaks can make the biggest deal of difference in pitching. (An example being Luke Hudson not throwing with his whole body, having little control at times, and then having arm problems.) I don't expect Milton to be comeback player of the year with this tweak but it should cut down on his HR total and lower his ERA. (How much time will only tell, personally id be happy with a 4.50 and 26 HR) One of the biggest problems with Milton last year was his inability to keep the ball down and his lack of consistency between his fastball and curve. When he had both working he was pretty filthy, remember the Dodger game in LA? During that game, his curveball was dropping with much more sharpness and his fastball was down and in; instead of up and over the fence.:rolleyes:

RedsManRick
02-26-2006, 06:03 PM
Milton allowed 5 HR in 155 AB vs. lefties -- 1 HR/31 AB
Milton alllowed 35 HR in 629 AB vs.righties -- 1 HR/18 AB

If he allowed the same rate of homers against lefties as he did versus righties, he would've allowed 44 homers. If he could reduce he rate versus righties what he currently allows versus lefties, he would allow 25 homers.

Of course, I'm guessing this has a lot more to do with a typical left/lefty split than some real defininable skill which he can improve on.

BoydsOfSummer
02-26-2006, 06:06 PM
"Milton gave up 40 home runs, 35 to right-handers, who hit .302 against him."

That many HR to right handers and only 5 to lefties is simply amazing.


Can you say LOOGY? Sure, I knew you could.

forfreelin04
02-26-2006, 06:17 PM
Can you say LOOGY? Sure, I knew you could.

A sad day in Cincy if Milton were to COME BACK in a bullpen role

forfreelin04
02-26-2006, 06:19 PM
Milton allowed 5 HR in 155 AB vs. lefties -- 1 HR/31 AB
Milton alllowed 35 HR in 629 AB vs.righties -- 1 HR/18 AB

If he allowed the same rate of homers against lefties as he did versus righties, he would've allowed 44 homers. If he could reduce he rate versus righties what he currently allows versus lefties, he would allow 25 homers.

Of course, I'm guessing this has a lot more to do with a typical left/lefty split than some real defininable skill which he can improve on.


25 Homeruns is something we all could deal with. Just so long as they weren't all grand slams.:eek:

wheels
02-26-2006, 06:51 PM
Just slot him as "The World's Most Expensive LOOGY" and be done with him.

Lesson learned.

Move on.

forfreelin04
02-26-2006, 09:20 PM
Just slot him as "The World's Most Expensive LOOGY" and be done with him.

Lesson learned.

Move on.

I'm guessing you think Milton is going to be worse this year wheels? Quote me on this I think he wins 14 games. He does well at the beginning of the year, surprising a view, becomes the goat again in the heat of summer (homeruns a plenty), than makes some necessary adjustments in Sept to finish out an improved year. (Barring any injuries of course)

KronoRed
02-26-2006, 09:29 PM
Just slot him as "The World's Most Expensive LOOGY" and be done with him.

Lesson learned.

Move on.
I'd release him right now.

But that's just me ;)

cincinnati chili
02-26-2006, 10:35 PM
Is it just me, or did the title of this thread sound kinda dirty?

captainmorgan07
02-26-2006, 10:43 PM
aslong as he's open to help from anybody only thing he can do is get better im optimistic last year was last year he needs to forget about it and move on

wheels
02-26-2006, 10:47 PM
I'm guessing you think Milton is going to be worse this year wheels? Quote me on this I think he wins 14 games. He does well at the beginning of the year, surprising a view, becomes the goat again in the heat of summer (homeruns a plenty), than makes some necessary adjustments in Sept to finish out an improved year. (Barring any injuries of course)

How does one do "worse" than an ERA of over 6 and forty homers allowed?

I expect more of the same. Maybe he'll get a little bit hit lucky and shave a run off of his ERA.

If he wins 14 games it will be because of phenomenal run support and nothing else.

W/L totals are a completely useless way to evaluate pitching, btw.

Aronchis
02-26-2006, 10:47 PM
It has been said, time and time again: It is all about velocity.

Doesn't matter what you do to the mechanics, but if the guy isn't throwing into the mid-90's consistantly, he is toast, essentially a pimple on the butt of baseball.

wheels
02-26-2006, 10:50 PM
It has been said, time and time again: It is all about velocity.

Doesn't matter what you do to the mechanics, but if the guy isn't throwing into the mid-90's consistantly, he is toast, essentially a pimple on the butt of baseball.

Yeah, velocity is good, but we've all seen examples of guys that can get by without throwing eyebrow searing heat.

Eric Milton won't be one of those guys, though.

Falls City Beer
02-26-2006, 10:55 PM
I honestly can't recall Milton throwing 94-95 consistently.

In 2004 I got several opportunities to see him throw here in Philly, and the radar guns never clocked him faster than 91, maybe 92. That's the tops. Mostly he worked around 90 MPH.

Aronchis
02-26-2006, 10:58 PM
I honestly can't recall Milton throwing 94-95 consistently.

In 2004 I got several opportunities to see him throw here in Philly, and the radar guns never clocked him faster than 91, maybe 92. That's the tops. Mostly he worked around 90 MPH.

You must have missed his Minny days, he popped heat. It was during his Philly run that the knee problems began and the velocity dropped


Milton's stuff is weak, but if you throw mid-90's heat, especially for a lefty, you have a job.

Time to pop the pimple.

KoryMac5
02-26-2006, 11:01 PM
I expect to see the Milton this year that threw in Philly 2 yrs ago. 13 or 14 wins ERA somewhere around 4.50 around 140 to 160 k's. This all depends on if he is over or around 200 innings. These are usually the stats he gets when he is around that magic number.

RFS62
02-26-2006, 11:01 PM
Is it just me, or did the title of this thread sound kinda dirty?



:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

wheels
02-26-2006, 11:23 PM
I expect to see the Milton this year that threw in Philly 2 yrs ago. 13 or 14 wins ERA somewhere around 4.50 around 140 to 160 k's. This all depends on if he is over or around 200 innings. These are usually the stats he gets when he is around that magic number.

His ERA totals for 02-04 were 4.75 and 4.76.

That is not good.

After three straight horrific seasons, I find it next to impossible for Milton to post an ERA less than 5.

Team Clark
02-26-2006, 11:31 PM
I honestly can't recall Milton throwing 94-95 consistently.

In 2004 I got several opportunities to see him throw here in Philly, and the radar guns never clocked him faster than 91, maybe 92. That's the tops. Mostly he worked around 90 MPH.

That's exactly what I recall. Not sure what gun had him 94+ but I'd love to use it in my backyard! :laugh: I know I could break 75 MPH for sure.

redsmetz
02-26-2006, 11:38 PM
It has been said, time and time again: It is all about velocity.

Doesn't matter what you do to the mechanics, but if the guy isn't throwing into the mid-90's consistantly, he is toast, essentially a pimple on the butt of baseball.

But the truth is that most lefthanders can get by at lower speed. I had a friend who pitched for XU at the same time Charlie Liebrandt pitched for Miami (I think). They both pitched about the same speed, but Liebrandt, a lefthander, made it to the majors. My friend knew he wouldn't make it with the same stuff pitching righthanded.

I'm crossing my fingers and hoping for the best - or at least not the worst.

:p:

jmcclain19
02-27-2006, 03:47 AM
Is it just me, or did the title of this thread sound kinda dirty?
To each his own rorschach inkblot CC ;)

BRM
02-27-2006, 11:03 AM
I expect to see the Milton this year that threw in Philly 2 yrs ago. 13 or 14 wins ERA somewhere around 4.50 around 140 to 160 k's. This all depends on if he is over or around 200 innings. These are usually the stats he gets when he is around that magic number.

Eric Milton hasn't had an ERA under 4.75 since 2001. He'll be lucky if he can get his ERA down to the low to mid 5s.

registerthis
02-27-2006, 11:10 AM
Eric Milton deserves alot of credit for trying to get better. He works hard he might suck but at least it tries to get better. I think his era will be around 4.25 which is that great but is 2 runs better than last year.

If he could get his ERA down to 4.25 for the first inning I'd be happy.

RedsManRick
02-27-2006, 11:11 AM
How does one do "worse" than an ERA of over 6 and forty homers allowed?

I expect more of the same. Maybe he'll get a little bit hit lucky and shave a run off of his ERA.

If he wins 14 games it will be because of phenomenal run support and nothing else.

W/L totals are a completely useless way to evaluate pitching, btw.

I'm sure you've read this elsewhere, but not only was Milton bad last year, he was very unlucky. He was basically the same pitcher as in 2004, he was just very lucky in 2004. Based on how he pitched, we would expect an ERA around 5.30-5.40. I think he improves slightly, isn't horribly unlucky again, and puts up about 12 wins and a 4.95 ERA.