Sailors select Tommy Milone, nominate Joey Gerber

Sailors select Tommy Milone, nominate Joey Gerber

The Mariners have announced roster changes between today’s doubleheader games. They chose the left-handed contract Tommy Milonewith right-handed Matt Festa have the opportunity to create space on the active list. In order to make room on the list of 40 men, right Joey Gerber has been designated for assignment.

Milone, 35, is a veteran who appeared in every season from 2011 to 2021. As soon as he enters a game here in 2022, it will be his 12th consecutive season in MLB. He’s appeared for numerous teams in this era, including a previous stint with the Mariners in 2019, as well as spells with the Nationals, Athletics, Twins, Mets, Orioles, Braves and Blue Jays. One of the softest pitchers in the league, Milone is able to survive by limiting free passes. His career strikeout rate of 17.7% is certainly low, given that the league average this year is around 22%. However, his 5.6% walk rate is just a few ticks below the league average of 8.3% this year.

Signed to a minor league in the offseason, Milone has made seven starts for Triple-A Tacoma this year. In 32 innings, he has an ERA of 1.13, with a strikeout rate of 24.8% and a walk rate of 6.8%. This tiny ERA is certainly nice, but it’s probably depressed by a 0.208 BABIP and 100% strand rate, neither of which are sustainable. Still, the Mariners will give him a chance to see if he can replicate those kinds of results at the big league level.

As for Gerber, 25, he was an eighth-round selection of the Mariners in the 2018 draft. A pure reliever, he never started his professional career. He pitched well in the lower levels of the minors and worked his way up to Double-A in 2019. In 22 2/3 innings there that year, he had a 1.59 ERA with a 31.3% strikeout rate, 7.3% walk rate. and 37.5% ground ball rate. In 2020, the minor leagues were wiped out by the pandemic, but he was able to reach the majors, pitching 15 2/3 innings for the Mariners that year. Although he still racked up Ks in the minors, he only knocked out 9.7% of the batters he faced in the majors, albeit in a small sample.

Despite those promising minor league numbers and his MLB debut at the age of 23, he has since hit a wall with injuries. Back surgery has prevented him from pitching at all in 2021, either in the majors or the minors. This year, a forearm injury has kept him out of action, except for a single-set appearance in the Complex League on June 11. His current condition is not publicly known, but will certainly affect next steps. Given that injured players cannot be placed on outright waivers, it’s possible that Gerber will find himself on release waivers in the coming days.

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