The Baltimore Orioles have added yet another veteran starting pitcher to the mix.
The move was first reported on Thursday afternoon by MASN’s Roch Kubatko on Twitter. Milone is joining the organization on a minor league deal and will report to spring training as he tries to earn a rotation spot in Baltimore.
Milone will join a long list of pitchers already in camp competing for a starting rotation spot, including Asher Wojciechowski, Brandon Bailey, Keegan Akin, Kohl Stewart, Michael Rucker, David Hess, Wade LeBlanc, just to name a few. It should be safe to assume that 2019 All-Star John Means and $57 million man Alex Cobb are locked for the rotation at this point.
Milone is a nine-year major league veteran and a former 10th-round pick of the Washington Nationals out of USC back in 2008. He will turn 33 on Sunday.
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The lefty spent last season with the Seattle Mariners, going 4-10 with a 4.76 ERA and 1.12 WHIP in 23 total appearances (six starts). He struck out 94 and walked 23 across 111 innings pitched. His 1.3 bWAR was tied for the second-highest mark of his career, which would have ranked third on the Orioles roster behind John Means and Dylan Bundy (4th if you count Andrew Cashner).
Pitching for the Minnesota Twins, Oakland A’s, Nationals, New York Mets, Mariners, and Milwaukee Brewers, Milone owns a career 50-47 record and 4.47 ERA. Not much a strikeout guy (career 17% K-rate), Milone has been effective at limiting walks across his career. In more than 874 career innings, Milone owns a walk rate just under 6%.
According to Baseball Savant, Milone throws a four-pitch mix which includes a four-seam fastball (averages 87 mph), changeup, slider, and curveball. He’s a soft-tosser but has had some success in the past at the major league level.
There’s no such thing as a bad minor league signing. If he clicks, Milone will help this Orioles rotation make through 2020, if not, it cost the team nothing. There’s still plenty of time left before Opening Day, will Mike Elias add another former Seattle Mariner to the mix before then to join Milone and LeBlanc?
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The Baltimore Orioles kick off their spring training schedule next Sunday, February 22nnd against the Atlanta Braves. Their full home TV schedule can be found here.