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Sunday, April 23, 2006

Milton to have surgery, to be replaced by Elizardo Ramirez

As I feared, Eric Milton's injury is serious enough to require surgery. Hopefully he will not be out too long and can return with good leg strength. We've seen this and last season how important Milton's legs are to both his velocity and his effectiveness.

In his stead, the Reds have brought up Elizardo Ramirez, who was acquired as the player to be named later in the Cory Lidle deal. Ramirez, 23, appeared in 6 games for the Reds last year, 4 as a starter. Stats:
Team IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 BABIP ERA FIP PERA VORP GB%
2003/PHI-A+ 157.1 5.8 1.9 0.23 0.323 3.78 2.88 4.22 -19.2 --
2004/PHI-A+ 59.0 5.0 1.2 0.46 0.265 2.44 3.15 4.63 8.1 ---
2004/PHI-AA 33.2 5.4 3.8 1.08 0.371 6.68 4.83 5.66 -14.2 --
2004/CIN-AA 31.0 6.7 1.2 1.74 0.293 3.19 4.62 6.75 4.2 --
2004/PHI 15.0 5.4 3.0 1.80 0.280 4.80 5.60 6.00 1.6 51%
2005/CIN-AAA 131.1 5.6 1.2 0.96 0.304 3.77 3.75 4.43 21.1 53%
2005/CIN 22.1 3.7 4.1 2.04 0.328 8.46 6.68 6.56 -7.7 41%
Ramirez has risen relatively quickly through the minor league systems of the Reds and Phillies, but there's some question as to how far he can go. In 22 innings last year with the Reds he was a disaster, showing no ability to get batters out, no control, and a strong proclivity for allowing the long ball. However, with AAA he pitched pretty well -- he won't strike a ton of guys out, but he had above average control and also kept the ball in the park. Hopefully he can post similar numbers with the Reds. He is only 23, so it's hard to think that he has peaked in ability yet. Hopefully he can fill in the rotation unless either Milton or Wilson are ready to pitch again. If not, look for either Germano, Gosling, or (god forbid) Darrell May to join the club in the coming weeks.

The scariest thing about this is that Dave Williams is now our #4 starter. He's not a good pitcher, but he is better than he has shown so far this year. Hopefully he'll have a few good ballgames to get his numbers back toward his career averages...