Lefty Eric Milton Earns Pitcher of the Week

Eric Milton pitched well enough in his last two wins to be named the Pacific Coast League's pitcher of the week. Milton accepted a temporary Minor League assignment at the end of Spring Training to rebuild arm strength after missing one and one-half seasons with Tommy John surgery and it looks like he's accomplished that with back-to-back six-inning outings.

. Milton tossed six shutout innings, allowing just two hits and a walk in a victory at Iowa on April 21 before pitching another six shutout frames in yesterday's win at New Orleans. In his most recent outing, the left-hander had a no-hitter through 5.1 frames before finishing his six-innings of work by allowing just two hits and two walks while fanning two.

Over the two starts, opposing hitters are batting just .103 (4-for-39) against Milton.

The former Major League All-Star becomes just the sixth Isotopes pitcher to claim PCL Pitcher of the Week honors in team history.

Milton's original contract provided for an opt-out if Milton wasn't in the Major Leagues when the season started, but he agreed to extend that for a month.

Milton was the Yankees #1 pick in 1996 (20th overall) and signed in September, missing the entire season.

In 1998 he was traded to Minnesota and in his Major League debut on April 5, he held Kansas City scoreless for six innings, allowing six hits and striking out a pair.

On September 11, 1999, he pitched a 7-0 no-hitter against the Angels, the fifth no-hitter in Minnesota history and the last to date. He was selected to the American League All-Star team in 2001.

In 2003 was traded to the Phillies and led them in wins (14). Granted free agency at the end of the 2004 season, he signed signed a three-year, $25.5 million with the Reds before the 2005 season but went 16-27 from 2005-07.

Again granted free agency in 2007 he signed as a free agent wit the Yankees but did not see any Major League action.

A left-hander, Milton has missed the past 1 1/2 seasons recovering from Tommy John elbow reconstruction. The 33-year-old has an 87-84 career record.

The 33-year-old was 0-4 with a 5.17 ERA in six starts for the Cincinnati Reds in 2007, then went on the disabled list and underwent elbow ligament replacement surgery.

He spent last year rehabilitating in the New York Yankees' minor league system, and was 0-4 with a 5.17 ERA in six late-season starts with Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre.

If added to the 40-man roster, the pitcher would get a one-year contract calling for $650,000 in the majors and $72,000 in the minors. He could earn an additional $1.05 million based on starts five through 30, and $150,000 based on relief appearances 50 through 70.

Eric Milton

year  tm         w-l    era  gm  gs   in    h  bb   so  whip
1197  Minn A+    8-3   3.11  14  14   93   78  14   95  0.99
      Minn AA    6-3   3.10  14  14   78   59  36   67  1.22
1998  Minnesota  8-14  5.64  32  32  173  195  70  107  1.54
1999  Minnesota  7-11  4.49  34  34  206  190  63  163  1.23
2000  Minnesota 13-10  4.86  33  33  220  205  44  160  1.25  
2001  Minnesota 15-7   4.32  35  34  220  222  61  157  1.28  
2002  Minnesota 13-9   4.84  29  29  171  173  30  121  1.19
2003  Minnesota  1-0   2.65   3   3   17   15   7   66  0.94
      Minn A+    0-0   0.00   1   1    2    1   2    2  1.50
2004  Phillies  14-6   4.75  34  34  201  196  75  161  1.35
2005  Cincinnati 8-15  6.47  34  34  186  237  52  123  1.55
2006  Cincinnati 8-8   5.19  26  26  153  163  42   90  1.34
2007  Cincinnati 0-4   5.17   6   6   31   39   9   18  1.53
2008  Minnesota  Did not play
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 ML total       87-84  5.01 266 265 1558 1635 447 1107 1.34  
 Minor           14-6  3.07  29  29  173  138  52  164 1.10