Milton Gets The Call, McDonald Optioned

Eric Milton was honored as the Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week and it must have pleased him, but not as much as a call he received from Los Angeles telling him he was called up to The Show and will start Saturday night. To make room on the roster for him, James McDonald was optioned to Albuquerque

Milton will start Saturday against the Florida Marlins in place of Jeff Weaver. The Dodgers optioned right-hander James McDonald (1-1, 6.75 ERA) to their Pacific Coast League club.

The 33-year-old Milton hasn't pitched in the majors since elbow ligament replacement surgery in 2007. The former All-Star is 3-2 with a 2.83 ERA in seven minor league starts. Milton has an 87-84 record in 10 major league seasons, including a no-hitter for Minnesota in 1999 against the Angels.

Milton was signed to a minor league contract just before the start of spring training, and although the deal included an escape clause he could exercise at the end of camp if he didn't make the club, Milton agreed to go to Class AAA anyway.

Once he got there, he went 3-2 with a 2.83 ERA. In his final five appearances for the Isotopes, Milton allowed two earned runs over 26 innings.

Milton will be making his first major league appearance since undergoing Tommy John surgery on his left elbow June 15, 2007, while with Cincinnati. Milton will be taking the rotation spot of fellow veteran Jeff Weaver, who also came to camp on a minor league contract and began the season at Albuquerque. Weaver, who is 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA in three appearances for the Dodgers, including two starts, will go to the bullpen

McDonald began the season in the Dodgers rotation, struggled and ultimately was sent to the bullpen. He has a 6.75 ERA in 10 total appearances, and he walked 16 batters in 18.2 innings while striking out only nine.

Milton won both of his starts during the week, not allowing a run in either outing, to claim the Pacific Coast League's Pitcher of the Week accolade for games beginning on April 20 and continuing through April 26.

Milton becomes the first Isotope to be honored by the PCL so far this season.

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 a 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 outings, 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.

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