Eric Milton
DSC04421 Eric Milton.jpg
Milton with the Los Angeles Dodgers
Pitcher
Born: (1975-08-04) August 4, 1975 (age 46)
State College, Pennsylvania
Batted: Left
Threw: Left
MLB debut
April 5, 1998, for the Minnesota Twins
Last MLB appearance
June 27, 2009, for the Los Angeles Dodgers
MLB statistics
Win–loss record89–85
Earned run average4.99
Strikeouts1,127
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Eric Robert Milton (born August 4, 1975) is an American former Major League Baseball left-handed starting pitcher who played for several teams between 1998 and 2009, and is currently the head coach at Severna Park High School.

Amateur career

A native of State College, Pennsylvania, Milton graduated from Bellefonte Area High School in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania and attended the University of Maryland, College Park. In 1996 while at Maryland, Milton played collegiate summer baseball for the Falmouth Commodores of the Cape Cod Baseball League (CCBL). A league all-star, he held opponents to a .105 batting average and set a league record with his microscopic 0.21 ERA. In 2004, Milton was inducted into the CCBL Hall of Fame.[1]

Major league career

Minnesota Twins

Milton was selected by the New York Yankees in the 1st round (20th pick) of the 1996 Major League Baseball draft; he was drafted as a compensation pick from the California Angels for the signing of Randy Velarde. He played one season in the Yankees minor league system and was then traded to the Minnesota Twins on February 6, 1998 (along with three other players) in exchange for Chuck Knoblauch.

He made his Major League debut on April 5, 1998 for the Twins against the Kansas City Royals, working six scoreless innings to pick up the victory. He was 8–14 in his debut season with a 5.64 ERA in 32 starts.

On September 11, 1999, he struck out 13 batters in pitching a 7–0 no-hitter against the Anaheim Angels, the fifth no-hitter in Twins history.[2] He finished the season with an ERA a full run lower than in his previous season, lowering it to 4.49 in 34 starts. He also completed 5 games with 2 shutouts.

In 2000, Milton went 13–10 in 33 starts. He led the team in wins.

In 2001, Milton enjoyed the best season of his career, going 15–7 with a career low 4.32 ERA and pitching in a career high 220 innings.

In 2002, Milton made just 29 starts due to injury. He walked a career low 30 batters, he finished the season 13–9 with a 4.84 ERA in a career low 171 innings. He was limited to 3 starts in 2003 due to a knee injury.[3]

With Minnesota, Milton had a record of 57–51, with 715 strikeouts and a 4.76 ERA, and was selected to the 2001 AL All-Star team. He went 1–0 with a 1.65 ERA with the Twins in the 2002 and 2003 playoffs, and was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for pitcher Carlos Silva and infielder Nick Punto following the 2003 season.[4]

Philadelphia Phillies

Milton led the Phillies in wins, starts and strikeouts in 2004, going 14–6 with a 4.75 ERA and 171 strikeouts in 34 starts. He took a no-hitter into the 9th inning on July 25 against the Cubs but lost it before recording an out.[5]

Cincinnati Reds

At the end of the 2004 season, he signed a three-year, $25 million contract as a free agent with Cincinnati.[6] His record in 2005 with Cincinnati was 8–15 with a 6.47 ERA, one of the worst ERA's for a full-time starter in NL history.[7] The following season, Milton lowered his ERA to 5.19 despite giving up 29 home runs in 26 starts. He finished 8–8 in just 26 starts after missing 3 weeks to repair a torn cartilage in his left knee.[8]

After lingering elbow problems in 2007, Milton underwent Tommy John surgery after just 4 starts, ending his season.[9]

Due to his poor performance and high contract, NPR of Minnesota called him a bust, ESPN named him to their all-overpaid team, and Sports Illustrated named him as the only pitcher on their all bust team, noting he gave up one home run per 11.9 batters.[10][11][12][13][14]

New York Yankees

He left the Reds as a free agent after the 2007 season and went unsigned due to his injury history until signing a minor league deal with the New York Yankees on July 11, 2008.[15] He never pitched for any of the Yankees minor league teams during 2008 however and was shortly released.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Milton signed a minor league contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers on February 10, 2009[16] with an invitation to spring training. He did not make the Major League team and was assigned to the AAA Albuquerque Isotopes to open the season. In 7 starts with the Isotopes, Milton was 3–2 with a 2.83 ERA. His contract was purchased by the Dodgers on May 14 and on May 16, Milton made his first appearance in the Major leagues since 2007 when he started for the Dodgers against the Florida Marlins.

On May 26, Milton made his second start of the season for the Dodgers against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. He worked five innings in the Dodgers 7–1 victory, recording his first Major League win since September 12, 2006. He made a total of five starts for the Dodgers, with a 2–1 record and a 3.80 ERA.

His season ended when he underwent surgery to remove a herniated disk on July 14.[17]

Coaching

Milton joined the Maryland Terrapins baseball program in September 2011 as an assistant coach.[18] On June 28, 2012, Milton was named the interim head coach of the Terrapins after head coach Erik Bakich left to take the head coaching position at the University of Michigan.[19][20]

Eric was named Head Coach of the Severna Park High School Baseball team in 2013.[21] He coached his oldest son, Kody during the 2015 - 2018 seasons, coming close to winning the State Championship during his son's senior season [22]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Ten Legends to be Inducted into Cape Cod Baseball League Hall of Fame". capecodbaseball.org. Retrieved August 11, 2019.
  2. ^ "Most Popular". CNN. Archived from the original on May 26, 2008.
  3. ^ "Notebook: Milton's knee injury deals Twins setback". Seattle Times. Seattle, Washington. March 7, 2003. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  4. ^ "Stu's Hunt Down: The Twins' Second Eric Milton trade". Star Tribune.
  5. ^ "July 25, 2004 Chicago Cubs at Philadelphia Phillies Play by Play and Box Score". Baseball-Reference.com. July 25, 2004. Retrieved July 21, 2010.
  6. ^ "Reds sign Eric Milton to three-year deal".
  7. ^ "Top 10 Prospects: Cincinnati Reds". Baseball America. Retrieved July 21, 2010.
  8. ^ "Reds Activate Milton; McCann Injured". The Washington Post.
  9. ^ "Reds pitcher Milton to have season-ending surgery". June 12, 2007.
  10. ^ "What happened to Eric Milton? | The Bleacher Bums". Minnesota Public Radio. Retrieved July 21, 2010.
  11. ^ "The Worst Contracts in Baseball - Fire Brand of the American League". firebrandal.com. Archived from the original on May 25, 2009.
  12. ^ David SchoenfieldPage 2 (Archive) (April 11, 2007). "Schoenfield: MLB's all-overpaid team – ESPN Page 2". ESPN. Retrieved July 21, 2010.
  13. ^ "SI.com – Writers – Tom Verducci: My 2005 All-Bust Team – Tuesday June 28, 2005 1:17 pm". Sports Illustrated. June 28, 2005. Retrieved July 21, 2010.
  14. ^ "GetSportsInfo.com | All posts tagged 'gary majewski'". Blog.getsportsinfo.com. Retrieved July 21, 2010.
  15. ^ Yankees sign Eric Milton to minor-league deal – New York Yankees baseball – NJ.com
  16. ^ Dodgers add Milton to pitching mix
  17. ^ Dodgers' Milton likely done for season
  18. ^ Barker, Jeff. "Eric Milton joins Terps baseball staff". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
  19. ^ "Milton Named Interim Baseball Coach". University of Maryland. June 28, 2012. Archived from the original on August 15, 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  20. ^ "Bakich Named Head Coach at Michigan". University of Maryland. June 27, 2012. Archived from the original on August 15, 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  21. ^ "Eric Milton Welcomed as New SPHS Baseball Coach".
  22. ^ "Howard wins first Maryland 4A baseball title in walk-off win over Severna Park - The Washington Post". The Washington Post.
Preceded byDavid Cone No-hitter pitcher September 11, 1999 Succeeded byHideo Nomo