Mets will throw newest pitcher into the fray right away against San Francisco
The Mets came in expected to be one of the better pitching staffs again in 2017. With injuries and drama piling up, that hasn’t come close to transpiring. The latest attempt at a solution for the Mets will come Wednesday in the series finale against San Francisco.
Recently claimed off waivers from Milwaukee, Milone has become well-traveled over the last handful of years. When he suits up Wednesday, it will be the fifth major league team Milone has started a game for since 2011. He was drafted by the Nationals in 2008 and made his debut for them three years later.
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One thing that stands out relative to what the Mets have now is that Milone gives a much different look on the mound. His fastball runs about 87-89, which he can also cut. His main secondary pitch is his change-up, which accounts on average for about a quarter of his pitches. Milone will also show a curve ball with mid-70s velocity as a tertiary pitch.
Milone received praise early in his career for his control. He was rated as having the best control in the Nationals and the Athletics systems in 2010 and 2011 respectively. In his major league career, Milone averages 2.2 walks per nine innings. And that number was even lower over his first three seasons. As a Brewer this season, Milone only walked two batters in 21.0 innings.
The issue for Milone with a lack of overpowering stuff is that he can be susceptible to the home run. In his short stint with Milwaukee, Milone surrendered six homers.
At the height of his career in Oakland, Milone gave up 49 homers between 2012-13. Even though Milone tops out in the high-80s with his fastball, he hasn’t been a ground ball reliant pitcher. In fact, his ratio of ground balls-to-fly balls has been dead even over his career.
Can Milone hold his own? That remains to be seen, but the Mets need somebody to fill a spot for at least the rest of this month. And Rafael Montero has shown he’s not the answer. The Mets also signed former first round pick Blake Beavan to a minor league deal but he got rocked in his Triple-A Las Vegas debut.
Milone might get at least a couple of turns in the rotation with no other available internal options. If he proves he can handle it, Milone will at least be a crucial stopgap until Steven Matz and/or Seth Lugo is ready to return.