Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Off-Season Prospects

As if this season hasn’t been bad enough the Phillies prospects for the off-season aren’t all that encouraging either.

Word has it the Red Sox and Yankees are going to make a run at Eric Milton. Not everyone is dismayed at the prospect. The critics point to his 4.69 ERA and league-leading 38 home runs allowed while others note he has received the fifth highest run support among NL starters en route to his 13-4 record. Though Milton has been quoted as saying he likes playing in Philadelphia, one has to wonder if he will continue to view homer-friendly Citizens Bank Park as his best option. Worse, as the Phillies play out the string and face the prospect of wholesale changes, Milton may decide the future is too unsettled here. In addition, New York or Boston offer a much better chance of getting to the post-season.

The guess here is he will re-sign. Boston isn’t exactly the place fly-ball pitching left-handers go to prosper. Meanwhile, New York’s pitching staff is in such turmoil Milton may believe too much will be expected of him, especially by the ever-patient owner. While much is expected of him in Philadelphia, he already knows his role. Milton is clearly one of the staff’s leaders. He keeps his team in the game virtually every time out, has stopped several losing streaks this season, and always maintains his composure. What’s more, he wins.

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