The Rays have acquired lefty reliever Hoby Milner from the Phillies in exchange for cash considerations, the club has announced. Milner was designated for assignment by Philadelphia earlier this week. The Rays designated right-hander Ryan Weber for assignment to create roster space for Milner.
One might have thought Milner would have a longer leash with the Phillies after his excellent rookie season with them last year. He managed a 2.01 ERA across 31 1/3 innings in 2017, though with unsightly peripherals including 6.32 K/9 against 4.60 BB/9. Furthermore, he benefited from a likely unsustainable 91.1% strand rate that helped his run prevention totals greatly.
This season, Milner made ten appearances in the majors spanning 4 2/3 innings. He allowed four earned runs, with three of them coming in one appearance. At the Triple-A level in 2018, Milner has outpitched his peripherals much in the same manner as he did last season; he’s managed at 2.39 ERA despite a 4.78 BB/9. Again, that can partially be credited to his 87.7% strand rate. He’ll now serve as depth for the Rays, who have been known for unusual (and effective) bullpen usage this season.
This is the second time that Weber has been designated by the Rays, with the first occasion (back in April) resulting in an outright assignment to Triple-A. Weber has tossed just 5 1/3 MLB innings for Tampa this year, and nine Major League innings total over the last two seasons. A groundball specialist who doesn’t miss many bats, Weber has posted a very strong 2.12 ERA over 241 2/3 career Triple-A innings.