Pitching “Ace” is a concept, or is it a person or role? I’m reading “The Numbers Game” by Alan Schwarz (discussing the development of numbers and stats in baseball and how it’s become a game of it’s own) and he mentions that the first professonal Reds pitcher (thus, the official first professioal pitcher) was Asa Brainard of the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings…and may be “Ace” was short for Asa (which is pretty short in and of itself).

Talk on the Reds Hot Stove League last night was that Paul Wilson was the ace on this team; and that Milton is happy to stay out of the limelight. I’m glad that Wilson is in a position of leadership, but unless our bullpen is a whole lot better than last year (and I’m not ready to accept that….), Milton better be able to put up some quality innings because Wilson’s wall will be 160-175 for the year…playoffs may squeeze 5-6 career shortening innings for him per game.

Milton has been a horse and can be a horse. I really don’t care about the homers; we hit a ton of them last year and had a losing team. Milton pitched in a homer friendly park last year and his ERA on the road was almost two runs worse than his home ERA (he was pretty much league average). It appears that GAB lowers batting average and other extra base hits, while promoting homers…balancing off to a PITCHER’s PARK…no matter what you hear the mediots say…the stats say other wise.

Milton has a “reverse platoon,” i.e., he pitches better against righties than lefties….and, little doubt due to tradition, he’ll be facing righties since he’s a lefty. Well, guess what…GAB is harder on right handed hitters than lefties.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Milton lead the league in homers allowed…with a better than average ERA. Tom Browning walked this line rather effectively for years.

I’m going against nearly every statistical rag/book/mag I read in feeling this way…but I do.

Wilson will be the same; will lament signing Ortiz; Claussen isn’t what we thought, but serviceable; Hudson will blow out his arm; Harang will be inconsistent and below average and give up more homers per inning than Milton.

I’m on the record….