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Dodgers Milton Out For Season

According to ESPN, Los Angeles Dodgers #5 starter Eric Milton is likely out for the season after undergoing surgery for a herniated disk in his back. From the report:

Eric Milton has had surgery for a herniated disk in his back and will be out at least three months, likely bringing his season to an end, according to media reports... While Milton's season may be over, his career could continue, depending on his recovery. Last week he said he had no intention of retiring at the end of the season, according to the Los Angeles Times."

Milton had been pretty effective in the 23.2 innings he pitched, going 2-1 with a 3.80 ERA (3.49 FIP). He had the highest K/9 ratio of his career as well. But now that he won't be around the Dodgers will look to Jason Schmidt, James McDonald, and Eric Stults to fill in the role. Schmidt has been rehabbing at Triple-AAA Albuquerque since June 21 and has a 3.94 ERA and 1.247 WHIP in that time. He will likely get the first shot at replacing MIlton.

This also means that the Dodgers will probably step up efforts to acquire a back-end-of-the-rotation starter. Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti recently said that a bullpen piece was the number one priority but also said acquiring a starter better than what they already had was priority #2. Given Milton's effectiveness, the priorities may have shifted even though the Dodgers #5 starters have put up a respectable 4.78 ERA and 1.585 WHIP as a group. It has been important in the past for the Dodgers to have a veteran in that spot.