Milledge Demoted

Where They Are Now: Lastings Milledge

After starting the season 4-for-24 (.167) with 10 strikeouts as the Nationals’ leadoff batter, former Met Lastings Milledge was optioned to AAA.

“He is still a work-in-progress as a leadoff man,” assistant general manager Mike Rizzo said during a conference call.

“This is certainly a message that we need for players to perform,” Rizzo said. “We need for players to adapt to the major leagues, and we need players to succeed.”

Elijah Dukes, hitting a blistering .381, will take over as the everyday centerfielder for the Nats.

For those who missed LMillz’s spring training comments, I provide some of them here again for your entertainment:

“You know, there’s always a thing where, Oh, rookies have to be here 2-1/2 or three hours before stretch. No. I’m not gonna be here three hours before stretch. If you’re here and you get your work in, it shouldn’t matter how early you’re at the field. You know what you need to do. That’s fine. You don’t have to be at the park three, four hours before the park if you don’t want. You don’t see nobody clocking in three or four hours before they have to show up to work. So, I mean, some people feel like they have to get here to read the newspaper or do crossword puzzles or get their mind ready. I feel like I come to the park, I have 45 minutes of stuff I have to do to get prepared for practice and get ready for the game. Five minutes might be watching videos. Fifteen minutes might be going in the cage. And then getting whatever other work I need.”

Be sure to read the entire article here.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Steve April 16, 2009 at 1:34 pm
    I was one of the fans that wasn’t too keen on the milledge trade when it went down, but I don’t mind it as much anymore. I realize he’s still young, but the guy hasn’t seemed to grow up at all since the trade. I think it might be good for him to have to play at AAA for a while, at least as far as his approach to the game.
  2. isuzudude April 16, 2009 at 2:31 pm
    I second that, Steve. I was deadset against the trade when it went down, but have been forced to eat major crow after seeing how hard-working Ryan Church is and how immature Lastings has remained. There’s no question Milledge has a ton of potential, and may have a higher ceiling than Church, but I think that’s essentially the reason why 9 times out of 10 it’s smarter to trade a player with potential for a player who has proven himself.