The Blue Jays have released left-hander Tommy Milone, per a club announcement. He’s spent the bulk of the 2021 season on the injured list due to inflammation in his left shoulder but had gone out on a minor league rehab assignment recently.
Milone, 34, allowed 10 runs on 20 hits and three walks with 17 strikeouts through 14 innings with the Jays earlier in the season. His initial IL placement came back on May 2, and the club moved him to the 60-day IL later that month. He’s tossed 13 2/3 innings in Triple-A since beginning his rehab assignment, holding opponents to four earned runs on nine hits and five walks with nine punchouts.
It’s been a rough few seasons for Milone overall, although he got out to a strong start with the 2020 Orioles, notching a 3.99 ERA with a 24 percent strikeout rate against just a 3.1 percent walk rate in six starts (29 1/3 innings) before being traded to the Braves. Things didn’t go well in Atlanta, as Milone yielded 16 runs in three starts before heading to the injured list with inflammation in his left elbow.
Despite a rough patch in recent years, Milone is an experienced lefty with a lifetime 4.59 ERA in 927 2/3 big league innings. He’s never been a prolific strikeout pitcher (17.7 percent) and was averaging just 84-85 mph on his heater in his limited time with the Jays early in the season, but even at his best Milone only sat in the 87-88 mph range. Milone also has excellent control (5.6 percent career walk rate) and has had enough big league success that a team in need of pitching depth down the stretch could take a look on a minor league deal — assuming he’s healthy, of course. The trade deadline has passed, and elimination of revocable August trade waivers gives contending clubs very few avenues to stockpiling veteran depth at this point in the season.