Trevor May looks like a much improved version of the player who made his Major League debut last season, Mike Pelfrey has been far better then his low expectations. This leaves Minnesota Twins lefty Tommy Milone without a spot in the team’s starting rotation.
With Milone already looking like a possible odd man out, the impeding return of Ervin Santana in early July from a PED suspension will make his path back to the Twins rotation difficult, but one thing has been made clear since his recent demotion; Tommy Milone is too good for Triple-A.
The 28-year old journeyman is now 3-0 with the Rochester Red Wings (AAA) in three starts since Minnesota sent him down a few weeks ago. Milone has not allowed an earned run yet over 23.1 innings. He has struck out 33 hitters while allowing just 14 hits and two walks. The southpaw put up his best minor league outing of the season tonight and tossed a complete game shutout while allowing just six hits and striking out 14. To put it simply, he is just too good for Triple-A.
This is a good problem for the Twins to have. Minnesota has consistently had one of the worst starting staffs in baseball over the last few seasons and for them to keep a four year Major League veteran in the minors with the numbers that Milone currently has just goes to show how improved the team’s pitching is.
In no way is the Twins pitching good, however. Their starters currently have the 20th best ERA league wide, but after finishing dead last each of the last two seasons it’s a huge leap.
But good problem aside, Milone’s dominance of minor league hitters cannot be ignored by the Twins coaching staff and front office. He has been better than brilliant since he was sent down.
Between the five starting pitchers that the team has right now, plus Milone in the minors and Santana set to come back from a suspension in a little over a month, the team does have the arms to make an actual run.
There should be no doubt at this point the Twins can fight for a playoff spot. This feeling is very different from where the team was at on May 18th in the last four seasons. Every move that Minnesota makes is crucial to their success and this is a move that they won’t want to get this wrong.