Athletics option left-hander Tommy Milone to Triple-A

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On the heels of being knocked around for six runs over 3 2/3 innings last night in a loss to the Rangers, Athletics left-hander Tommy Milone has been optioned to Triple-A Sacramento.

Milone surprised with a 3.74 ERA in 31 starts last season, but he has taken a step back his year, posting a 4.39 ERA through 22 starts. The 26-year-old gave up two home runs last night, bringing his total to 22 over 133 1/3 innings. He allowed 24 in 190 innings last year. Not surprisingly, most of his struggles have come on the road, as he has a 5.00 ERA in 12 starts away from O.co Coliseum.

The Athletics have called up right-handed reliever Evan Scribner to replace Milone on the active roster. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle estimates that the A’s won’t need a fifth starter again until August 13. Milone could return at that time, though the A’s could opt to give Sonny Gray the opportunity. Brett Anderson is gearing up for a rehab assignment following a stress fracture in his foot, so he should be an option for the rotation before long.

Rakuten Golden Eagles sign Jabari Blash

Jabari Blash
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Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.

The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.

The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.