A Closer Look: Tom Milone


Over the next couple of days Swingin’ A’s will take a closer look at some of the prospects the Athletics scored in the Trevor CahillGio Gonzalez, and Andrew Bailey trades. Next, we take a look at Tom Milone, who could join Oakland’s starting rotation this year. 

The A’s may not have Trevor Cahill or Gio Gonzalez anymore, but the team isn’t exactly hurting for starting pitching either. Oakland parted ways with Cahill and Gonzalez last month in trades that signaled to the team’s dwindling fan-base that the A’s are interested in rebuilding.

The rebuilding phase, however, doesn’t necessarily mean that Oakland’s pitching staff will be forced to settle for mediocrity. On the contrary, the A’s have laid down the foundation for yet another strong pitching staff. The young arms acquired in both the Cahill and Gonzalez trades should, in the long run, prove to be solid major league starters.

One of the names that comes to mind right now is left-hander Tom Milone. Milone, 24, is considered to be major-league ready and that is great news for the Athletics. Filling the voids left behind Cahill and Gonzalez won’t be a piece of cake, since the two All-Stars won a combined 28 games last year for the A’s.

Guys like Milone, though, figure to be strong candidates to help the A’s fill out their starting rotation this year. Milone was acquired in the Gonzalez trade and has some major league experience.

In five starts last season for the Nationals, Milone went 1-0 with a 3.81 ERA over 26.0 innings of work. He’s also posted impressive numbers in the minor leagues as well.

Last season with Triple-A Syracuse, Milone posted a 12-6 record with a 3.22 ERA over 24 starts (148.1 IP). He also posted a 9.40 K/9 rate along with an 0.97 BB/9 and a 2.24 FIP. The year before that, Milone posted a 12-5 record with a 3.02 ERA in 27 starts with Double-A Harrisburg.

Those are definitely some impressive stats, but…

There are those skeptics out there who feel Milone is nothing more than a softy with a below-average fastball. While the concerns about Milone’s fastball definitely exist, I’m not overly worried about them.

I didn’t say Milone would be an “ace,” but he should be good enough to help round out the back end of Oakland’s starting rotation this year. He’s big-league ready compared to some of the other pitchers the A’s acquired via trade this winter, which should help him edge out the rest of the competition this spring.

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