March 14, 2007

Milledge: More of a Lasting(s) Impression?!

At this point, all signs are pointing towards Lastings Milledge either making this team or being traded for a starting pitcher. I think the odds favor him being with us on opening day. He's been working hard, both on and off the field, to show that he belongs on this team, hitting well, fielding well, and working hard. Willie Randolph has been quoted as being very happy with Milledge's progress so far. Anthony Rieber from Newsday quotes Willie (click on the title of this column to link to the Newsday story):

“I like what I'm seeing from him. He's maturing a lot more. You can see where he's gotten better defensively. He's going the other way much better. You've got to give kids time sometimes to grow. He's shown that he's had some growth during the offseason. He's worked hard.”

Before Spring Training began, we thought that Milledge would most likely end up as trade-bait for a starting pitcher. We also cautioned not to jump too far off the Milledge bandwagon, as he is still very young and has a world of potential, and that he just might surprise everyone with a renewed spirit and drive this season. It seems as though he is intent on living up to that potential and still has a chance of pushing Shawn Green to be the starting rightfielder. Green had better start hitting at a faster clip if he wants to hold off Milledge, who seems to be putting last season well behind him. The chances of one day seeing a Gomez - Beltran - Milledge outfield (with Martinez at first) grows more possible by the day- let's hope Lastings continues to do his part! At worst, he is giving GM Omar Minaya more weapons for his trading arsenal- and as always, Omar is liable to surprise all of us at any moment with the move we least expected!!

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