Braves finalize deal with O's for lefty Milone

August 31st, 2020

After agreeing to acquire from the Orioles on Saturday night, the Braves arranged for the veteran left-hander to board a private jet in Buffalo on Sunday morning and fly to Philadelphia to start against the Phillies a few hours later.

The need for multiple starters created this whirlwind development, which occurred a little more than 24 hours ahead of Monday’s 4 pm. ET Trade Deadline.

Milone was acquired from the Orioles in exchange two players to be named later. Designated hitter Matt Adams was designated for assignment to clear space on the active roster.

Neither of the two players to be named are currently a part of Atlanta’s 60-man player pool. The teams will likely wait until the offseason to determine which two Braves Minor Leaguers will be joining Baltimore’s system.

Unfortunately for Milone, his tenure with the Braves began inauspiciously as he allowed seven earned runs and eight hits over just 2 1/3 innings on Sunday.  The Braves are hoping he can still help solidify the fractured rotation over the final month. But they will still attempt to add another starting pitcher before the Deadline.  

Before Sunday, Milone had posted a 3.99 ERA over six starts for Baltimore this year. The 33-year-old lefty has recorded 33 strikeouts and issued just four walks while allowing opponents to hit .273 with a .305 on-base percentage.

Though Milone does not fit the elite category, he immediately upgrades the Braves rotation, which has been fractured by injuries and demotions. Atlanta has received five innings from a starter in just 12 of their first 32 games. Max Fried is responsible for seven of those occurrences and top pitching prospect Ian Anderson, who debuted on Wednesday, is the team’s only other starter to do this dating back to Aug. 9.

Milone has a 3.08 ERA over five August starts, four of which lasted at least five innings. He has a 22.8 percent (26 of 114) strikeout rate while issuing just one walk within this span.

As Milone competes with a four-seam fastball that averages 86 mph, he could benefit from Braves veteran catchers Travis d'Arnaud and Tyler Flowers, who both rank among the game’s top framers.

Per Baseball Savant, d’Arnaud has produced a 50.9 percent strike rate and has been credited with 1 Runs Extra Strikes. Flowers has a 48.1 percent strike rate and 0 Runs Extra Strikes. The league average is 48.6 percent strike rate and 0 Runs Extra Strikes.

Both of Baltimore’s catchers Pedro Severino and Chance Sisco have been credited with -1 Runs Extra Strikes.

“He’s throwing the ball really well right now and we feel like this will be a good spot for him,” Anthopoulos said.