Milner, 30 next month, put up a strong 2.01 ERA but questionable peripherals through 37 1/3 innings as a rookie with the Phillies back in 2017. He’s yet to come close to replicating that level of run prevention; in 24 1/3 frames since that debut effort, he’s been rocked for a 7.77 ERA.
That sky-high ERA is an eyesore, but Milner excels at limiting hard contact (career 83.4 mph opponents’ exit velocity and 27.9 percent hard-hit rate). He also comes with a terrific minor league track record, having tallied 146 innings of 3.08 ERA ball with 11.5 K/9 against 2.3 BB/9 in four seasons out of the bullpen at the Triple-A level. He’s seen big league time each year since 2017, so there are clearly some clubs who believe there’s another level possible despite the overall lackluster results.
Cozens, meanwhile, was once one of the more promising prospects in the Phillies organization. The 2012 second-rounder is now 26 years old and four seasons removed from a 40-homer campaign at the Double-A level. Cozens hasn’t played in an official game since May 2019 thanks to surgery to remove bone spurs and repair torn cartilage in his left foot that year. He’s a career .252/.329/.473 hitter in the minors with prodigious power but far too much swing-and-miss in his game, evidenced by a 36 percent strikeout rate in parts of three Triple-A seasons.
Cozens does have a handful of MLB plate appearances (45) but has managed just a .154/.267/.282 slash with 24 punchouts in that tiny sample. He’ll give the Brewers some left-handed-hitting depth in Triple-A, but with a full outfield in Milwaukee, he’s likely to open the year in the minors and shake off some of the injury rust as he awaits an MLB opportunity.