Re: No team is perfect in April
great post; it's good to remember that the regular baseball seaon is a marathon rather than a sprint. The sprint, of course, comes in the post-season!
I'm less concerned about who starts off in AAA vs. starting out in Cincinnati, than I am who is being let go. Players can come and go on the AAA train- it makes for a rough year for them, frankly, but that's the nature of the game.
Sometimes it takes a couple of months before a team can be sure that a player can no longer help them, before they cut ties.
It's always best to put your very best team out on the field of course. But spring training games alone often aren't enough to judge who is worthy and who is not.
That said, I'd be darn sure to keep Hamilton and Burton on the roster, in Cincinnati all year. This team cannot afford to lose good young talent- it would cost far more to replace that talent than it costs the Reds to keep them up all year. That means some other guys are going to be on the Riverbats train, back and forth all year- most probably Coutlangus, Deno, Hopper, Livingston, maybe Belisle even.
I think Milty's going to get his shots in April to prove that ST was an aberration; but I also think they aren't going to be patient with him. If he doesn't produce, I think we'll see another Dave Williams situation. Unless, of course, a team is desparate enough to trade for him now. The team that needs him the most, the Nationals, have no desperation at all- they know they're going to be really bad this year, and Milty won't matter to them one way or another.