"We'll try to get him out there and get him going as soon as we can," Reds manager Jerry Narron said.
Owner of a 2-1 record and 6.50 ERA in three starts, Milton hasn't pitched in a game that counted since April 18. After he had arthroscopic surgery on April 24, to remove damaged meniscus cartilage, the left-hander didn't believe it would take long to catch up. He was able to throw 85 pitches in a simulated game last week in Cincinnati.
"I don't feel any different," Milton said Tuesday. "Jerry wanted to know if I was ready to throw 100 pitches. I can go out there and throw 120 if I needed to. It's a matter of taking the ball. When I'm out there, I think I can help this team."
Milton's impending return has pushed right-hander Elizardo Ramirez out of the rotation. The likeliest candidate headed back to Triple-A Louisville when the Milton roster move is made on Saturday, Ramirez will be available from the bullpen this week. He could be a spot starter if another pitcher goes down.
"I'm ready for any moment in the game," said the smiling Ramirez, who was originally slated to start on Thursday.
Called up to replace Milton last month, Ramirez had posted some solid outings while going 1-3 with a 3.13 ERA in four starts. He took the loss in Friday's 8-4 defeat to Philadelphia despite allowing only two earned runs over six innings.
"He's pitched well. He's had some tough luck," Narron said. "At some point, he'll get another start here."
Dave Williams was moved up a day and was scheduled to start Thursday's game vs. Pittsburgh. Brandon Claussen was also bumped up a day to Friday against Detroit.
Back where he started:
Reds starter Bronson Arroyo is identified most as a former Red Sox pitcher. But, the right-hander's career started with the Pirates organization as a 1995 third-round draft pick. He made his big league debut with Pittsburgh in 2000 and will face his original club for the first time on Wednesday.
Arroyo was waived by the Pirates just before the 2003 season and went on to win a World Series with Boston in 2004.
Off to an excellent start this season with the Reds, after he was dealt from Boston in March, Arroyo doesn't have to wonder if Pittsburgh regrets giving up on him.
"I know they do," said Arroyo, who is 5-1 with a 2.03 ERA in eight starts this season. "The last two years I've had with the Red Sox, are probably comparable, if not better than the stats of what they've run out there the last couple of years. I'm sure they'd love to have me back if they could. You never know what's going to happen with people. I could have fizzled out to nothing and they could have said, 'Hey, that's why we let him go.' "
No BP, again:
In what's become a daily routine lately, there was no pregame batting practice or activity on the field because of steady showers. The Reds haven't been able to take a full BP outside since Wednesday.
Narron has missed holding practice on the field.
"It's killing me," he said. "It'd be nice to get back in a groove where we're playing every day and get back on a regular routine. I can tell you that. That's part of what we do, doing the best we can under difficult circumstances. That's what separates everybody."
All his rowdy friends:
In town for a concert, famed country singer Hank Williams Jr. stopped by the Reds clubhouse before Tuesday's game and visited in Narron's office with the manager and some of the players, including Jason LaRue and Adam Dunn.
Arroyo will face Pirates lefty Oliver Perez in Wednesday's 7:05 p.m. ET game.