The Orioles have agreed to a minor league deal and invitation to Major League Spring Training with veteran left-hander Tommy Milone, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports (via Twitter). Milone, a client of All Bases Covered Sports Management, will presumably join the competition to secure a spot in a paper-thin Baltimore rotation.
Milone, who’ll turn 33 this Sunday, spent the 2019 season with the Mariners, for whom he soaked up 111 2/3 innings while compiling a 4.76 ERA with 7.6 K/9, 1.9 BB/9 and a 36.7 percent ground-ball rate. Long known to be a fly-ball pitcher, Milone struggled to keep the ball in the yard — as did a great many pitchers — averaging 1.85 long balls per nine innings pitched. His excellent control helped to minimize the damage of those home runs, but dropping a pitcher with a career 1.49 HR/9 mark into the American League East could prove problematic even if Milone does end up as a starter for the O’s.
That said, Milone has been a generally durable source of innings, although his year-to-year totals in the Majors don’t reflect that trait due to his considerable time in the minors in recent seasons. Milone has missed small batches of time due to elbow, biceps and shoulder troubles, but the only time he’s missed even a month on the injured list came as a result of a knee injury with the Mets back in 2017.
In total, Milone has pitched to a career 4.47 ERA in 874 2/3 innings split between the Nationals, Athletics, Twins, Mets, Mariners and Brewers. Along the way, the soft-tossing southpaw has averaged 6.7 strikeouts and 2.2 walks per nine innings pitched. He’s the same type of control-over-stuff lefty that the Orioles recently added in Wade LeBlanc, albeit one who is a few years younger and coming off a superior showing in 2019.