Jerry Narron, I'd like to introduce you to your starting rotation:

These guys are Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo...they are your aces...they are more than capable of even taking the ball every 4th day and are tough guys...they can handle extra innings and can take you deep into games...but Jerry, there aren't any other aces here so you might want to be careful using them needlessly with extra pitches and innings as a long season awaits...

Jerry, these 2 guys are Kyle Lohse and Matt Belisle...both are guys with tons of potential and they are pitching well right now...your patience will be great with both of them because they'll go through some struggles but both could have big years...but beware, because especially in Belisle's case, when they fatigue, they get tired fast...

And Jerry, this is Eric Milton...he's your 5th starter...Jerry, you've got a real good guy for this spot...he's very, very good the 1st time through the order and is extremely solid the 2nd time through...for a 5th starter he can consistently be counted on to give you a man's effort for 5 innings...but Jerry, here's the important part: NEVER, EVER NO MATTER WHAT YOUR HEART SAYS, NO MATTER WHAT YOU THINK DO YOU LET ERIC MILTON COME OUT OF THE DUGOUT FOR THE 6TH INNING UNLESS YOU HAVE AN ENORMOUS LEAD AND HAVE YOUR BULLPEN WARMING UP...

I know I'm on the other side of the coin from most, but Eric Milton is just fine for this spot in the rotation...don't tell me about Ramirez or Livingston because at this point I simply don't believe they are significant upgrades for our rotation...Milton is who he is, contract be damned...a very solid 5 inning pitcher who did a more than adequate job yesterday in that stint (5 innings, 8 hits of which 3 were dinks, 3 ER, 1 HR)...every Reds fan in North America knew Milton couldn't get out of the 6th inning unscathed yet Narron leaves him in...

Eric Milton isn't the key to our season...he's just another guy in the 5-hole that is simply average at best...just like virtually every other ML team (including the Yankees, for instance...man do they have rotation issues!!)...the key to our season is Kyle Lohse and Matt Belisle...if they are solid, we compete for the division title...if they don't, we wait on the late-season arrival of Bailey and get excited about next season...

Frustration yesterday should've been due to poor AB's from the top of the lineup...Freel and Phillips need to take guys a little deeper into counts to best utilize their talents IMHO...but I'm not about to "fire" them...frustration should've been getting back into the game and watching our bullpen be unable to hold it close (once again, not about to "fire" Coffey and Coutlangus, though I am convinced never to have Coffey start an inning but rather to always come in with runners on...I always am more confident when he has to put out someone else's fire, maybe I'm wrong)...frustration should've occured when Narron allows Milton to face Sanchez with 2 outs in the 6th, when Sanchez owns some ridiculous .600+average against the man...

But I'm not about to get frustrated about having Eric Milton give us a solid 5 innings of work...I'm not frustrated about his salary because we can do nothing about it, and from all accounts Milton works hard and is a professional...I'm not going to be frustrated because he's the biggest flyball pitcher in the majors because he was that when DO signed him...personally, I was quite satisfied with Eric Milton yesterday and if he does this all season long for 25 starts, we'll be just fine every 5th day...


I'm not comparing the 2 for the course of the season, but in the same conditions facing the same lineups...

Harang 5.2 IP, 5 ER
Milton 6 IP, 4 ER

Clearly this performance yesterday is nothing to be frustrated about IMHO...

We have gone all A-Rod on this guy because of the contract and expectations...I've lowered my expectations to viewing him as a solid 5 inning #5 starter...he can meet those expectations nicely...

I now expose myself to unmerciful angst and rebuttal