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Tommy Milone Battling For Spot in Twinkie Rotation

March 26, 2015 | By RotoRob | Comments (0)
Tommy Milone is trying to stick in the rotation for the Minnesota Twins.
Tommy Milone’s future may ride on Thursday’s start. (Jerry Holt)

One of the better position battles this spring has been the fight for the final slot in the Minnesota Twins’ rotation, a contest being waged by veterans Tommy Milone and Mike Pelfrey and youngster Trevor May.

Pelfrey may have lost his shot by giving up seven hits in 4 2/3 IP on Monday. On Thursday, Milone gets the start against Boston, with May pitching the next day in what may be the two most important games to decide how this competition will be resolved.

Today, let’s take a closer look at Milone (see video below), who will almost assuredly be the long man if he fails to earn a starting gig.

Heading into the 2014 season, we ranked Milone — still with Oakland at the time — 115th among starting pitchers. Once the dust settled, he wasn’t even a top 150 pitcher last year as — despite a solid 3.55 ERA — he was farmed out by the A’s for a spell after they made several deadline pitching acquisitions.

Finally, Milone was traded to the Twins for Sam Fuld. Once set free in Minny, Milone stunk up the joint in five starts and one relief appearance.

Overall, Milone recorded his highest ERA last season as his strikeout rate regressed and his WHIP soared — both to career worst levels. Still, this is a dude that had plenty of success as a major league starter in Oakland, going 31-22 with a 3.84 ERA between 2012 and 2014.

But after things went so poorly in Minnesota after the trade, the lefty came to camp this spring with no guaranteed job. The fact that the Twins would be sporting an all right-handed rotation if Milone doesn’t get a spot is a factor in his favour.

However, in his last start on Saturday, Milone was tagged for four runs in four innings, so Thursday’s outing cannot be any more important. Again, there may be wiggle room here because he’s a southpaw. So Milone may have to actually pitch his way out of the job, which he’d do with another bitch slapping Thursday.

Milone, who turned 28 last month, wasn’t as bad as his ERA indicated in Minnesota, but even with a 5.90 FIP, no one was beating down a path to pick him up. The key for him returning to Fantasy relevance (besides having a regular gig, of course), is seeing his K rate bounce back after last season’s debacle.

He was actually doing a great job of getting through innings quick last year with the A’s with a career-best 15.5 pitches/9, but that number soared to 19.9 after the trade.

Thursday will be a real test for Milone. He faces a Red Sox lineup that looks very much like what Boston will trot out there on Opening Day.

Here’s the scary part of Milone’s 2014 season. His BABIP was a bit lower than usual and his strand rate was normal. So if there was luck involved, it actually helped him. To wit, his FIP was a half run higher. And the move to the best hitter’s park in the AL will not help matters.

Let’s face it: the Nats seem to know what they are doing when it comes to pitching. So the fact that they opted to deal away Milone a few years ago — one of many pitching prospects they have traded in recent years — tells you a lot.

He’s a great control pitcher (2.13 BB/9 in his career), but is too prone to the long ball (1.23 HR/9) without the strikeout capability to fall back on. That’s a fine line to tread.

The bottom line here is that we cannot recommend this former USC Trojan for Fantasy purposes. That’s not to say that he won’t be capable of helping your team out for short stretches here and there, but on a long-term basis — especially in 5×5 leagues — he’s just not dependable enough to rely on.

Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below what you see 2015 holding in store for Milone.

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Video Game Review: Game of Thrones, Episode 3

March 25, 2015 | By Herija Green | Comments (0)
When last we left House Forrester, Asher had reunited with his uncle and was seeking a sell-sword army, Mira was getting in over her head in King’s Landing with her efforts to aid her family, Gerard Tuttle was walking in Jon Snow’s footsteps at the Wall and Rodrik was being bullied by the insufferable House Whitehill. Thankfully, unlike The Lost Lords, The Sword in the Darkness starts moving the plot forward in significant ways.
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Video Game Review: Zombie Army Trilogy

March 23, 2015 | By Jeff Cater | Comments Comments Off
If you’ve ever played any of the recent Sniper Elite titles, the controls are absolutely identical. If you’re a neophyte, then you’ll find a control scheme that is comfortable, responsive and effective. Navigating the tight streets and examining your surroundings are bound to the left and right sticks, respectively. Once you pull L2 to scope in on a target, you can empty your lung to steady your shot with the R1 button, which is essential to nailing the perfect shot.
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2015 RotoRob MLB Draft Kit: First Base Rankings

March 23, 2015 | By RotoRob | Comments (0)
An 11th straight 25-homer season has Cabrera within shouting distance of 400 career dingers and he won’t be 32 until next month.
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The Wire Troll: Benoit Pouliot Produces in Unproductive Edmonton

March 22, 2015 | By Dakota Case | Comments (0)
In 419 career games, Pouliot has 92 goals, 186 points and a plus-47 rating over the course of nine seasons with Minnesota, Montreal, Boston, Tampa Bay, New York (Rangers) and Edmonton. His best points-per-game season came in the lockout shortened 2013 campaign with the Lightning in which he collected eight goals, 20 points and a plus-8 rating in 34 games. In regards to his highest number of points per season, Pouliot set a career high of 36 (15 goals, 21 assists) and seven power play goals in 80 games with the Rangers last season. A solid playoff run with five goals, 10 points and a plus-8 rating in 25 postseason games elevated him as an intriguing option on the free agent market.
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