Tommy Milone Searching For Consistency


Jun 19, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Tommy Milone (57) sits in the dugout during the game against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Tommy Milone entered the season as a member of the A’s starting rotation. The left-hander had a solid rookie-year with Oakland in 2012, posting a 13-10 record in 31 starts while also finishing with a 3.74 ERA.

Along with fellow youngsters Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin, Milone entered this season as one of Oakland’s young starters looking to build on a successful rookie-campaign.

Milone, whose future seemed so certain entering the year, finds himself in a state of flux. The A’s sent Milone down to Triple-A following a terrible performance at home against the Rangers back on August 2. Like the A’s, Milone’s 2013 season has been painfully inconsistent.

The A’s did not go without their southpaw for very long, however, as Milone was called-up to start against the Indians at home back on August 18. Milone lasted just 4 1/3 innings in that start against Cleveland and received a no-decision in Oakland’s 7-3 win.

Adding to the inconsistency, the A’s decided to skip Milone’s turn in the rotation last week on Saturday against the Orioles. The A’s now have Milone set to counter the Tigers’ Justin Verlander. It is a match-up that favors Detroit, especially when you consider just how dominant Verlander has been against the A’s.

For Milone, Tuesday night will be a significant test. The A’s could have Bartolo Colon back in the rotation on Thursday, leaving Milone as the likely odd-man out. The A’s are also close to having Brett Anderson back, too. Anderson, however, will likely join the A’s in a relief role.

In 23 starts this year, Milone has posted a 9-9 record to go along with a 4.30 ERA. In 138.0 innings of work, Milone has posted a 6.85 K/9 (up from last year’s 6.49). His BB/9 has risen, however, from a season ago. This year’s 2.22 BB/9 is higher than Milone’s 1.71 BB/9 mark last year.

The increase in walks, lack of command, and amount of home runs allowed by Milone have definitely taken a toll on his stats this year. He has 34 walks in 138.0 innings of work, while issuing just 36 free passes in 190.0 innings of work last year. He has also allowed 23 home runs this year.

Milone does not possess overpowering stuff in his arsenal, so it does become a problem when his command is off. Milone’s command has been shaky, at best, this year. Milone started off the year in a very solid fashion, going 3-2 with a 3.38 ERA in April. Since then, it has been a season of up’s and down’s for Milone.

The A’s themselves, despite what their record may suggest, have been painfully inconsistent as well.

It would be big if Milone could somehow beat Verlander and the Tigers on Tuesday night. It would be a step in the right direction for both Milone and the A’s, because both are struggling to find any sense of consistency or security heading into the final month of the season.

Milone’s Monthly Totals (Month by Month)