View Full Version : Push Back Milton's Return

05-15-2006, 04:24 AM
While we got swept this weekend by the surging Phillies, the one positive development from the depressing series: All three of our starting pitchers (Ramirez, Williams and Claussen) threw quality games that easily could have earned them wins if the offense hadn't gone DOA.

In fact, these were the best of Claussen and Williams' 15 starts this season, and Ramirez wasn't too shabby Friday night, either.

What motivated the stand-out performances? You have to suspect it's Milton's looming return from the DL. With Ramirez, Williams and possibly even Claussen on the bubble, they reached a little deeper, concentrated a little harder and produced nice gems, spoiled only by the offensive offense.

If I was in a position to call the shots, I would schedule Milton for at least 1, maybe 2 minor league rehab starts before reactiving him. Let him build back his arm strength and get into a rhythm after his layoff, but more importantly, keep the competition going among Claussen, Williams and Ramirez.

Why rush Milton's return when we don't know if he's ready? Let him prove it. I know he gets paid like an ace, but he's not exactly delivered like one in his tenure with the Reds.

And why bounce Ramirez, Williams or Claussen from the rotation after how they did against the Phillies? Ideally, I'd want to see each of them in another series before having to retool the rotation.

The procrastinating could pay off. While Ramirez is the low man on the totem pole in terms of seniority, his 3.13 ERA in four starts suggests he might belong in the rotation. That would leave Williams or Claussen as the fall guy, but after this weekend, it's tough to say who should take the fall.

05-15-2006, 05:38 AM
One correction to my post.

Claussen did have one start where he fared better -- his earlier shutout against the Nationals.

In fact, his ERA for the entire season would be a highly respectable 3.64 except for his meltdown against Milwaukee, when he surrendered nine earned runs in 3 innings.

The big question marks with him.

1. How come the offense leaves him hurling against the wind?

2. Why did Narron hang him out to dry against Milwaukee?

05-15-2006, 05:40 AM
IIRC, the bullpen was pretty well worn out when Claussen was up against Milwaukee. I think they tried to make it one of those "take one for the team" games for Claussen, but he got so roughed up they couldn't even let him past 3 innings.

05-15-2006, 10:13 AM
I think today's start against Pittsburgh will tell alot about Milton. If he pitches well and is throwing around 92 or so, like he was earlier this year, I think he will go right back into the rotation. If not, a couple of minor league starts won't hurt.

I'm not sold on Williams at all. Yes, he pitched great the other day. But, he looked like a batting practice pitcher in ALL of his other games. Plus, the weather was cold. The hitting for both teams all series was pitiful. With the cold weather, the ball didn't carry. And Abreu didn't play. All that being said, I really hope Williams could pitch just half this good again.

Claussen. He'll stick around.

Ramirez. I think he's decent. Much more consistent than Williams. I'd still rather have him than Williams, but that could also change quickly. Each start is so important for both of them. This upcoming week will tell us alot about who will be pitching for us in the upcoming months.

Jr's Boy
05-16-2006, 03:07 AM
I say get Milton right back in the thick of things,25 million is too much to have sitting around on the bench.If he comes back on fire we may have a chance at a postseason run.Arroyo,Harang will be fine,IMHO Clausen will improve as the season wears on.And if we can get a few quality starts out of Williams(i know thats asking alot)this staff may be durable.
Not to mention Cast may give the go ahead to Krivsky for BP or another starter if the Reds are in still in the hunt come June.