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Could Milledge Have a Lastings Impression?

Posted by Kieran Carobine, Thu, January 13, 2011 09:37 AM | Comments: 38
Free Agency, Posts, Raising Questions

As the Phillies move closer and closer to Spring Training there is still some uncertainty about which direction the outfield will go.  Some are thinking Dom Brown can step right in and take over while others are thinking a platoon of Brown and Ben Francisco could work, too.

Then again, there is the possibility that Brown struggles to start the year.  He did leave the Dominican League due to fatigue from a long season.  The Phillies might need an extra outfielder on the bench that can play corner to corner.

I am not fully endorsing Lastings Milledge as this guy, but he could be a cheap addition that would add speed to the already fast lineup.  Like I said, I am not completely sold on the idea of going out and getting a guy like Milledge.  The Phillies have a great clubhouse chemistry right now and Milledge has been known to stir the pot a bit.

Milledge made his MLB debut in 2006 with the Mets, the original team that drafted him.  Debuting at the same age as Darryl Strawberry.  Ironic, but not important.  A thinking around the league is that he is a bit immature for the majors and that (my opinion) he doesn’t respect the game.

As a player, he is a career .269 hitter with a little pop. His first real full season was in 2008 when he played for the Washington Nationals and played in 138 games.  He hit .268 with 14 home runs and 61 RBIs.  For a 162 game average, Milledge has a .269/12/63 stat line.

Milledge can also add speed late in games. He has 40 stolen bases for his career, 24 in 2008 while only being caught nine times. The best part about him was his salary last season was just under $500,000. The Phillies could get him super cheap and even send him down to Lehigh Valley.

As of right now, the Phillies have their outfield set more or less with Ibanez and Victorino covering left and center, respectively. Right field is still up for grabs with BenFran and Brown. It seems right field might be Francisco’s job to lose going into Spring Training. Ross Gload filled in last season adequately and I don’t see John Mayberry cracking the majors until a possible September call up.

It is hard to see where Milledge would fit in with this Phillies roster. I value BenFran higher and Brown even higher than that. Like I said before, Milledge could sign and head right to Triple A has an emergency outfielder.

For the price, it could work out.

Avatar of Kieran Carobine

About Kieran Carobine

Kieran Carobine has written 180 articles on Phillies Nation.

Kieran has been writing since 2010 and is based in Virginia Beach.

 
 
  • Posts: 38 GoPhils

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    I don’t see this happening. I think the Gillick-Amaro regime value character very highly. Therefore, Milledge has one strike. These guys are together for a long time each year, travelling together and going through tough losing streaks together. Camadrie is therefore very important to having a good season. Milldege does have promise, given that one season with the Nats. But I think the Phils are going into the season with what they have. Remember, they had Victorino and Werth in the same spot as Brown is now. Victorino was a lowly rule 5 pick who I think had to compete for playing time with Aaron Rowand. At this time he did not look too appealing, but look at him now. Again, Werth was a lowly injury-plagued guy who feared he might have to give up baseball. He competed for the playing time with Geoff Jenkins and look at him now. Brown does not have a much of major league track record, and so there are no guarantees that he flourishes and this may cause people to shy away. However, are there guarantees really for any player, even established stars? Even so, Brown is more highly touted than Victorino or Werth ever were. He has an excellent minor league track record. The Phils have seen what he can do down there. We haven’t seen much of him at all, but what I saw was an extremely talented player with pop to all fields, a hose for an arm, great speed and spectacular plays in right with however occasional bouts of rawness that he should outgrow. I want to see this guy play more. I also love the dynamic he brings to the clubhouse. As a younger player, the veterans on the team are going to want to take him under their wing. His upside is going to bring excitement to the club. His youth will refresh an aging team. His development will help us transition to the future.

     
    • Posts: 886 betasigmadeltashag

      Avatar of betasigmadeltashag

      I do not think it is a question of signing Lasting and no playing Brown, it is a question of the up side of LM for cheap to see if you can get him to reach his potential. I would compare LM to Vic and Wreth more than to Brown. And for $500000 if he is really a drain on the club house you let him go

       
  • Posts: 886 betasigmadeltashag

    Avatar of betasigmadeltashag

    I have stated on other threads that I like the idea of signing Lasting, he is defitly cheap and does have some upside potential. The attitude problems he is suppose to have may be an issue, but what you could sign him for would not be a burden to just let him go if he can not shape up. Two things about that also, look at the teams he was on where he had issues, Mets, Nats, and Pirates? Non of which have a strong club house or wins many games. With guys like Jroll, Utley and Howard in his face he may like winning more than being a pain in the ass. He is still young and may need some guidance, which this team could give him. I am not sold that Dom Brown is ready to step up and play every day, and think unless he has an amazing spring will start the season in LV. Bring Lasting in and let him play in LF against some lefty pitchers, and spell Ben Fran and Vic once in a while.
    And this is contingent on sitting him down and saying “Here is the deal, this is your roll until proven otherwise, you are a 4th outfielder and if can out play Ben and prove you derserve to be everyday guy you will get your shot, that cool with you then sign here” I think it would be a great move and big upside and cheap. But I have been saying that for months now.

     
  • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    Maybe at 1mil Milledge turns it around on a team that has a strong overall character. He could stand to learn from a good clubhouse, something he hasn’t been a part of. And you’re right at the price you trade him or let him go if hes a distraction.

    Don’t love the idea of Milledge but don’t dislike it either. Certainly provides more depth.

     
  • Posts: 87 Johanna

    Avatar of Johanna

    I don’t like the idea of Lastings Milledge at all. I do like the Brown/Francisco platoon idea…First of all, I think if Francisco gets more playing time – he is going to show us something. Let Brown come up and learn from a veteran. Milledge – no way. I don’t like his attitude. He’s not a Phillie. Some guys you can see fitting in immediately – him – no way.

     
  • Avatar of Dropped Strike Three

    I think Lastings would be on par with Jeff Francouer. Charlie loves himself a challenge when it comes to fixing a swing. With all the upside Milledge had coming up, the potential is still there. The attitude problems would be almost completely neutralized by the makeup of this locker room. I don’t think Chase/Ryan/Jimmy/Raul would stand for a young guy popping off and I have to think Milledge knows he’s running out of options before he washes out of the league completely!

     
  • Posts: 15 bjfolk12

    Avatar of bjfolk12

    Wow..I was actually thinking about this the other day.. I’m not a Lasting Milledge fan so don’t get me confused with that but the guy has a lot of upside potential, but unproven and a bad club house guy. But we all remember Delmon Young, now with Twins, his minor league blow ups and look how he turned out and matured on a veteran team with a low salary. Proving himself, had a nice year!

    People have referenced Victorino and Werth…I see Milledge in the same mold…young and something to prove with a LOT of talent. Phillies have taken chances on them and look how they turned out. No one wanted them and bam they are stars, because they took a chance.

    I’m not saying Lasting will be a great player…but its worth bring in the youth and talent…never can have enough of that.

     
  • Posts: 3 Dennis

    Avatar of Dennis

    I don’t know if Milledge is the answer but I definitely agree that we need a semi-decent Major League ready right handed bat to play the OF. I still have to wonder how are we protecting Howard in the lineup? Could Jimmy bat 5th and Victorino lead off? Anyone have any thoughts on how this line up might look come April? Also does Manny have anything left in the tank to play the field still, I’m sure he would behave for Charlie. Just a thought…

     
  • Posts: 220 The Dipsy

    Avatar of The Dipsy

    I like the idea of signing Lastings Milledge very much. He is 25 years old and has a world of potential. He’s a righty with speed and I would not mind seeing him play his way onto the roster. The Phils would be paying next to nothing for a guy who could really blossom which makes it a low risk/high reward proposition. As for his attitude…maybe he’s changed. I would be willing to spend 1m to find out. He’s a guy you could put out in LF against lefties to make us even more righthanded. In conclusion, where were Shane and Jayson were in the scrapheap Gillick signed them.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 56 RatBastardNJ

    Avatar of RatBastardNJ

    I am completely against signing Milledge. We seem to be dismissing his lousy attitude and lack of hustle as something that can be fixed by our veterans and if not…just release him. I agree he has tons of potential that made him such a high draft pick years ago, but is it worth it. Why not just go for Manny Ramirez then? I don’t want either as I find those negative attributes contagious. The young players on the team (I realize we are running out of them), including Dom Brown, might catch on to the negativism. Keep Brown and all the other young players away from such a negative impact.

    I rather the Fightins go after a Scott Podsednik, Willie Harris, or get one in a trade for Joe B….but keep low character guys off the team.

     
  • Posts: 15 bjfolk12

    Avatar of bjfolk12

    I was watching MLB Network last night and they were talking about ML players and limit on how much they would want to make…like Jermaine Dye last year…phillies and cubs supposely offered him like 2 and 3 million and he wouldn’t take it.

    So I’m thinking Manny coming to the Phillies is out of the questions because they won’t pay him but to that affect I dont’ think he has enough in the OF to play RF unless you move Raul to LF. Just my opinion.

    As for the Line up: Rollins, PP, Utley, Howard, Ben, Victorio, Ibanez, Ruiz, Pitcher but i like your JRoll in the 5 hole idea…they always said he could turn into a 3 hitter back in the day.

     
  • Posts: 2952 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    What is this fascination with guys like Milledge, Manny, someone suggested Milton Bradley a few years ago on here?? Mental cases. Problems. A potential cancer.

    You said that “it’s hard to see where Milledge would fit into this roster”…..so why even suggest it??

    The clubhouse….along with it’s manager, coaches and professional players….doesn’t need reclamation projects to deal with. I don’t care how much talent or promise this guy has.

     
  • Posts: 193 bfo_33

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    GoPhils, I was going to use the Victorino/Werth argument in favor of going after Milledge. The guy is the definition of no risk/high reward. Ben Fran is a solid player, not against him being the primary right fielder this year, but Milledge has the raw skills to be an excellent player. I think comparing Manny and Milledge is a mistake. At this point in his career, Manny is a bat – period. Everything else, from defense to attitude, is poor, and it isn’t going to get better. Milledge has the capability to do everything well.

    In regards to his attitude, as mentioned above, he was never on a well managed, disciplined team, and except for his first year with the Mets (whose clubhouse was more like a nightclub), weren’t competitive out the gate. Even with that, it’s not like he’s attacked fans or other players, he doesn’t appear to have anger management issues,…., just a little immature. He may impact the clubhouse of a young up and coming team, but thinking that he’ll effect the chemistry of this Phils team, who from the ace of the staff to the bat boys are intense and professional, is underselling their character. I am in favor of going after Milledge – taking a low risk on potential is how we got to where we are. We need a few low priced contributors. He might be waived mid summer, but he could also be the right fielder of the future. It’s not going to cost much to find out.

     
    • Posts: 193 bfo_33

      Avatar of

      Meant left fielder of the future. I admit I’m fascinated by his athletic ability and potential. I also believe that character issue guys blow up undisciplined teams. Joe Morgan was considered a troublemaker in Houston, and the colt 45s gave him to the Reds for next to nothing. Getting on a team with a strong manager and competitive players changed his attitude quickly, not the other way around (although his attitude problems were overstated, more an issue of a manager with an ego). Milton Bradley went to a cliquey Cubs teams with no leadership, and a hothead manager who lacked control, and tore up a borderline competitive team. Again, everyone talks about Milledge’s “attitude”, but what did he do that was so bad that he’s not worth a chance?

       
  • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

    I’m not a Milledge fan… that would be a rare breed… but I think that he’s definitely worth $500k. I don’t buy into the “disrespect” of the game. I do think that he’s been a product of the teams he’s played for – bfo nailed it. NYM, WAS, PIT… I don’t know how anyone could thrive on those teams. He actually contributed in PIT last year. I think that he’s a low risk, high reward guy… let him know that he’s not going to start but with Ibanez and Brown in L and R, he’s going to get opportunities to play (for a winning team).

     
    • Posts: 15 bjfolk12

      Avatar of bjfolk12

      Good point. I don’t think I heard of any problems with him in PIT last year. I’m going to use Football terms because they are fresh in my mind. Sorry if I can’t think of baseball comparisons right now, I’m sure there is a few.

      In NY, Milledge was considered the next best thing to slice bread…and alot of times kids his age take that on and think they can do no wrong and can’t be told anything, see Terrell Pryor for example. But now that he has been grounded and with right team, another example Mike Vick. And look at what could happen…

      We aren’t giving him the keys to the city or a starting job…just a chance to be on a veteran, club with a lot of good players…something he has never been around.

       
    • Avatar of Dropped Strike Three

      Exactly… He’s never been on a team with a winning mentality or a locker room full of leaders. For $500K, you grab him and hope that the rest of the team can keep him in check. If they can’t, you release him and eat the money. It’s a reasonable gamble.

       
  • Avatar of The Original Chuck P
     
  • Posts: 2952 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    I don’t know….I’m just not for it. We’ve got D brown to develop (and that’s not gonna happen without a reasonable amount of ABs) and Ben Fran, who DESPERATELY needs more playing time. Bringing another guy in and one with a bunch of question marks to boot isn’t necessarily the answer.

    BUT….for 500K….it’s MAYBE worth a shot.

    I just hate the reclamation projects. Rarely do they really work out. Vick is the exception and not the norm.

     
    • Posts: 15 bjfolk12

      Avatar of bjfolk12

      I agree with you they dont’ all work out…AND You won’t get an argument from me about D Brown, I love the guy ever since I saw him in his second game in AA, put a bomb on to Route 61 in Reading.

      But It sound like more and more that a Fran/Gload platoon is what we are starting out with and a D. Brown in AAA to start the year. So as a 4 or 5th OF and a late inning Defensive Replacement for Ibanez I like a cheap Milledge.

       
      • Posts: 886 betasigmadeltashag

        Avatar of betasigmadeltashag

        bjfolk12, I really do not think Gload can play RF, did you see him play last year I think it was 2 or 3 games and I would say he was Vlad like, slow bad jumps and no arm. So I do not think Gload will play much in a platoon.

         
  • Posts: 220 The Dipsy

    Avatar of The Dipsy

    Chuck – Shane was a reclamation project. Werth was a reclamation project. IMO, talent wins games. And Milledge has it. He’s not a cancer. He’s a kid who was supposed to be the greatest thing in the world and he’s finding out that being a MLB player is not exactly a walk in the park. Colt 45′s??? Look at it like this: The Sixers signed Iverson last year to a low salary, “lets take a look” contract. You could do the same thing with this kid. I will go on record as saying that from this day forward he will be a better player than BenFran, and thats not a knock against BenFran its just that I like Milledge. I’d love to see a Milledge/Ibanez platoon.

    The Dipsy

     
    • Posts: 193 bfo_33

      Avatar of

      My long term memory is a lot better than my short term memory. I also catch myself saying the Baltimore Colts, the LA Rams, and the California Angels.

       
    • Posts: 886 betasigmadeltashag

      Avatar of betasigmadeltashag

      Mark this day dipsy we agree, Except I do not see a straight platoon in LF. But I do think that Raul could use some extra days off against lefties. That is why I think LM would work out if D Brown starts off in AAA, then you would have a guy that can give Raul a break against lefties,Vic a day off here and there, and also play RF to give Ben Fran a day off. Who knows maybe he will become the next Jayson Wreth

       
  • Posts: 147 Don M

    Avatar of Don M

    I’m all for bringing in as much YOUNG, CHEAP TALENT as possible… if the price is right, give him a chance.

    Like above comments said … with the established leadership on this team already, its not likely that he would ever have the chance to disrupt the clubhouse.. he would either learn to be a professional.. or learn to love the minor leagues and drinking cheap beer for the rest of his life

     
    • Posts: 1189 Manny

      Avatar of Manny

      Agreed. If it’s cheap and provides depth… why not? What if an outfielder gets injured, or Dom Brown hits around the Mendoza line, or ___ (fill in the blank)? I’d be on board with this move.

      Plus, I really like the speed he could bring to this team. Jimmy won’t be stealing bases like he has been all these years –risk injury and he might end up losing the leadoff spot as the season progresses. Victorino remains our one true speedster now. There’s no more Werth to steal the occasional base. Cliff Lee might steal a base or two, but that’s not gonna change the overall picture too much. ;)

       
  • Posts: 886 betasigmadeltashag

    Avatar of betasigmadeltashag

    Most of you are saying he is an attitude problem, from what that he has been traded a lot never reached his potenitial like I said in the second post on this thread, Charlie, and RAJ sit him down and tell him like it is, if he resonds well, you pay him 500k-1 million bring him in and see if he can athe player that he thinks he is, if not send him to LV or release him. Speaking of football, this is not a
    T.O situation where he would disrupt the club house, one these are the Phillies, not the Eagles, and two he is not being brought in to be a star. I would not be surprise if the brass has not thought of this already, and you can not compare him to Manny cause LM can play in the field and may listen to true leaders in a strong clubhouse, Manny would not

     
  • Posts: 2068 Brooks

    Avatar of Brooks

    LM has a relatively low OBP – if he has 600 atbats, he’ll strike out 100 times if not more.
    Don’t we have a few too many of these guys on our team now?

     
  • Posts: 2952 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    Dipsy, yes…Shane and Werth were both reclamation projects. But they didn’t come to Philly with all this headcase baggage crap that Milledge supposedly has. That’s what I’m referring to. I realize the guy has tons of talent. I’m just leary of his demeanor…and maybe it wouldn’t be a problem. Maybe the environment here would help him.

     
  • Posts: 14 phillygirl17

    Avatar of phillygirl17

    No, absolutely not! I live in DC and attend a lot of Nationals games throughout the 3 years I’ve lived down here. He had a poor attitude every time I saw him. The man has speed and pure, raw talent. But he was regularly cursing out the fans, and let’s be honest, all 12 of us in the stands could here him. It got to the point where I refused to sit in the outfield, because he ruined the game and enjoyment for me. Yes, I read the comments about putting him on a team with strong leadership, which is something that players like Zimmerman are just developing. Not worth it, no matter how cheap.

     
  • Posts: 52 LCMRSalazar85

    Avatar of LCMRSalazar85

    Milledge is a 5th grade drop out. He doesn’t have the mental capacity to play MLB, let alone being smart enough to avoid the blue bug light that you put out on the patio during the summer months. The reason NY,WAS, & PIT gave up on him is that he wasn’t mature enough to handle the game. I would rather spend the time and effort to pump up Dominic Brown & Ben Francisco than sign this mental pigmee.

     
  • Posts: 4527 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    I can’t remember for certain, but wasn’t Milledge the guy the Nationals actually had to assign a babysitter to? I’m not kidding or trying to be a smart azz, I really think it’s true. I can’t find a link, but I thought I read that they hired someone to watch over and work with him, and that failed.

    Anyone know?

     
  • Posts: 15 bjfolk12

    Avatar of bjfolk12

    @betasigmadeltashag

    I don’t like Gload, I’m not a fan of his but all the talk is about platooning him with BenFran, I’d rather platoon D. Brown and BenFran than Gload and BenFran.

     
  • Posts: 1 raymyun

    Avatar of raymyun

    Absolutely not. I live in Washington and saw him a lot at Nats games. Not only is his attitude a problem, but even routine fly balls to center field were an adventure. His paths to the ball were crazier than the most complicated of wide receiver routes. He is definitely one of the worst Major League fielders I have ever seen.

     
  • Posts: 93 Ted Bell

    Avatar of Ted Bell

    Lefty – That was Elijah Dukes, definitely NOT Lastings Milledge.

    So far, people here have compared (or possibly confused) Milledge with Milton Bradley, Nyger Morgan, and Elijah Dukes. In reality, he has never done anything even remotely as serious as those players.

    I’d definitely take a flier on Milledge…the kid had better numbers against lefties than anyone currently on the roster (.320 AVE / .926 OPS). The key to that sentence is that he’s still a “kid” – perhaps one that would mature playing alongside established role models such as Rollins & Howard. If not, it’s a ridiculously inexpensive gamble (especially considering that Gillick once gambled on giving up Gio Gonzalez, Gavin Floyd, and $10 million for an injured Freddy Garcia).

    The premise that he could somehow disrupt a clubhouse full of established veterans in laughable.

    I’m Ted Bell.

    The idea that he could somehow disrupt a clubhouse full of veterans is actually laughable.

    I’m Ted Bell.

     
    • Posts: 2952 Chuck A.

      Avatar of Chuck A.

      I’m not necessarily saying that he would totally “disrupt a clubhouse full of veterans”. Of course not. The Phillies are WAY too professional for that. I think it’s more like that pesky mosquito buzzing around your head on a hot summer night. Annoying and unpleasant.

       
    • Posts: 4527 Lefty

      Avatar of Lefty

      That’s why I couldn’t find the link, I was looking for the wrong player!

      Thank you Ted

       
  • Posts: 17 derekcarstairs

    Avatar of derekcarstairs

    When it comes to former Met top prospects, the cautionary word is caveat emptor.

    Milledge may have tools, but he has been overrated. In his only full season, Milledge’s performance was barely that of a replacement player. He may have speed, but he is not a good defensive OF; nor is he an effective base stealer. Milledge has cost his teams more by his base stealing attempts than he has helped them. At the plate, Milledge is only OK; I don’t view him as an upgrade over Francisco. I would pass on Milledge. His only virtue is cheap.

    I think the Phillies’ play in 2011 should be to give Domonic Brown every opportunity to be the full-time starter in RF. If he needs to be platooned, play Francisco against lefties. If Brown must start in AAA, let Francisco and Gload share RF duties for the first half of the season. With the signing of Lee, the Phils have extra cushion and can afford to give playing time to Brown even before he is quite ready and can afford to platoon Francisco and Gload until they start playing Brown.

    No matter what the Phils do in RF, they will win the division and finish with the best record in the NL.

    The Phils need to begin a youth movement. There’s no better time to begin than now; and no better player to begin with than Brown.

    If the Phils do go outside the organization for a cheap right-handed OF, I would prefer Andruw Jones.

     
 
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