Mar 4, 2014; Mesa, AZ, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcherTommy Milone
(57) throws to the Chicago Cubs in the first inning of their spring training baseball game at Cubs Park. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports.
Tommy Milone was a great contributor to the A’s success in the 2012 season, but had a rough year that saw him demoted to triple-A in the 2013 season. He was in the mix for the rotation, but wasn’t really projected to make it. Now, he is very likely to be in the rotation with injuries to both Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin. He is actually doing great this year in Spring Training. That poses the question: What will 2013 look like for Tommy Milone?
We know he will most likely be in the rotation to start the 2013 season, so probably most of April. How will April play out for Milone? Well let’s look at how he’s been doing lately in Spring Training. Milone has played in 4 games, started in 3. He has 14 total innings pitched, and his ERA sits at 3.86. Not the most impressive of numbers, but compared to the other pitchers, it’s not so bad.
For example, Jarrod Parker had a 10.61 ERA in only 9.1 innings pitched, and Sonny Gray is at 5.14 after 7 innings pitched. He also has 3 starts, as does Parker. So Milone is actually faring better than the top of the rotation pitchers. In today’s start against the Giants, he went 5 scoreless innings, showing major signs of improvement.
So it’s fair to say Milone will have a fairly good start in April, and will keep the team in contention. Having Milone in the rotation won’t harm the team. He’ll give the team a winning chance and I believe he will perform well. He has made me a believer so far this Spring. But what happens when the other guys return to health?
I’m starting to think that if Milone does well like I predict he will, he will solidify his spot in the rotation. If another pitcher struggles such as Straily, Milone may take over their spot. Milone has a golden opportunity here to prove he should be in the rotation. He may even have Griffin sent to triple-A for a while and stay in the rotation in Griffins place. If he can keep his performance up, he will stay in the rotation and return to his 2012 form. So all in all here, these injuries aren’t as bad as one might think. In fact I believe the team will do just fine out there.