Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reported yesterday that A’s left-hander Tommy Milone has requested a trade after being demoted to Triple-A despite plenty of success in the big leagues.
Several beat reporters covering the A’s expressed surprise over the report, saying Milone doesn’t seem like the type of guy to make that request or at least make that request and then go public with it.
And then last night Milone’s wife posted the following on Twitter:
Last night Joe Stiglich of CSNBayArea.com asked Milone about the Rosenthal report and Milone declined to make any comment, which clearly won’t do much to end the speculation.
At the time of the demotion Milone had gone 6-0 with a 2.55 ERA in his previous 11 starts, so it obviously wasn’t performance based and instead was due directly to the A’s acquiring a pair of starters via trade in Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel. They’ll need Milone again at some point, but as a 27-year-old with a 3.84 ERA in nearly 500 career innings he’s certainly right to feel that he doesn’t belong in the minors.
For a few days, it looked like Aaron Judge was finally hitting his stride in the postseason. He was still striking out at a regular clip, piling more and more strikeouts atop the 16 he racked up in the Division Series, but he was mashing, too. He engineered a three-run homer during Game 3 of the Championship Series, followed by another blast and game-tying double in Game 4. His one-out double helped pad a five-run lead in Game 5, while his 425-footer off of Brad Peacock barely made a dent during a 7-1 loss in Game 6. And then Lance McCullers‘ curveball found and fooled him, as it did five of the 14 batters it met in Game 7:
The strikeout was Judge’s first of the evening and 27th since the start of the playoffs. No other major league batter has racked up that many strikeouts in a single postseason, though Alfonso Soriano’s 26-strikeout record in 2003 comes the closest. Within that record, Judge also collected three golden sombreros (four strikeouts in a single game), narrowly avoiding the dreaded platinum sombrero (five strikeouts in a single game).
It’s an unfortunate footnote to a spectacular year for the rookie outfielder, who decimated the competition with 52 home runs and 8.2 fWAR during the regular season and was a pivotal part of the Yankees’ playoff run. Thankfully, the image of McCullers’ curveball darting just under Judge’s bat won’t be the image that sticks with us for years to come. Instead, it’ll look something like this: