Dodgers sign Milton
Milton will initially compete for the fifth spot with Jason Schmidt, Eric Stults, Claudio Vargas, Ramon Troncoso and Shawn Estes.
That's six contenders. How are the Dodgers going to choose just one? I'm so confused, and I bet you are too. Forget about projections and upside and arm health and all that. We need something simple and final. Therefore Dodgerama is going to sponsor an old fashioned single elimination mini-tournament to sort it all out. I'll have to throw in McDonald and Weaver to fill out the bracket with eight.
He gets the top seed because of his huge contract.
He's filled the fifth starter spot before with decent results. He's made 14 starts for the Dodgers over the last 3 years, with 5 quality starts. That may not seem like a lot but in this group I think it is.
He probably has the best combination of raw talent and health among the official six candidates. But he's never started at the big league level before.
He gives up lots of home runs.
A long time ago he won 19 games in a season. These days he barely keeps his strikeout rate above his walk rate.
He's never been good.
In my opinion he's the best pitcher on the list, but it seems he will start the season in the 'pen to limit his innings.
Someone had to fill out last slot of the bracket. But I have a feeling there will be no Cinderella story.
Ideally each round would be decided by some relevant statistic. For example, the first round could be based on likely strikeout rate, then the next round on walk rates, then the last round on home run rates. But that's kind of boring, so instead the first round matchups will be won by the pitcher who has pitched for the fewest evil teams in his career. If needed the tiebreaker will go to the pitcher whose name least resembles the name of a crappy fast food chain.
Schmidt (1) v. Weaver (8)
Schmidt was the Giants ace for years. Weaver pitched for the Yankees, but that's not enough to overcome Schmidt's tour of evil, especially since Weaver was actually a double agent working against the Yankees while in New York. Weaver wins in an upset!
Milton (4) v. Estes (5)
Estes had that 19-win season with the Giants, and to top it off he was with the Padres last year. Milton was comparatively an Angel. ( Uh, not literally. )
Troncoso (3) v. Vargas (6)
Vargas lost this matchup the moment he first wore the hideous Snakes cap back in 2005. If only he had known back then what that decision would cost him today on some blog.
Stults (2) v. McDonald (7)
Both of these fine young men have spent their entire careers in the Dodger organization. This is one of those matchups where you can only say it's a pity one of them has to lose. Stults wins on the tiebreaker.
Round two will be decided by which pitcher has the best movie quote somehow associated with him.
Milton (4) v. Weaver (8)
Milton was the name of a character in Office Space who said "I'm going to burn down the building." In Ghostbusters Sigourney Weaver's character says, "I am the keymaster," when she is demonically possessed by Gozer the Gozerian. Milton wins in a tight battle, because while Gozer failed, Milton actually did succeed in burning down the building.
Stults (2) v. Troncoso (3)
Eric Stults sounds like Eric Stoltz who plays Lance in Pulp Fiction who says "You gotta stab her once, but it's gotta be hard enough to break through her breastplate into her heart, and then once you do that, you press down on the plunger." I'm pretty sure that can beat any quote from the movie Tron. Stults wins!
The final round will be decided by coolest anagram that can be made from the pitchers' first and last names.
Stults (2) v. Milton (4)
I have a feeling it might come down to these two in real life as well. In real life it's the guy who's already done well in spot duty as the fifth starter for the Dodgers against a veteran who knows how to be a veteran. Since Stults always seems to be an afterthought for the Dodgers until they really need him I think Milton wins in real life.
But in this competition it is the ferocious Metric Lion v. the wily Cult Sister. Cult Sister tries to brainwash the Metric Lion, but the beast's precision with logical metric units makes him immune to mind tricks! He calculates the perfect leap down to the last nanometer and devours the Cult Sister!
So Eric Milton wins! It may be an arbitrary victory, but it's no less arbitrary than giving each guy 20 spring training innings and deciding who gets the spot based on that. I like my way better.