Hoby Milner’s 2020 season got off to a bad start immediately, and the Angels left-hander spent all year unsuccessfully playing catch-up.
Milner signed a minor league deal with the Angels last November and was a non-roster invitee in spring training. By the time the season started in July, Milner made the Opening Day roster, and was thrown into the fire immediately in the first game, in Oakland. It was a precarious situation for Milner to be sure, with the bases loaded and one out in a tie game, in MLB’s first game with the new runner-on-second-base rule in extra innings.
It was a lefty on lefty matchup, but Milner only threw one pitch, which was obliterated by Matt Olson, giving the A’s a walk-off grand slam and providing a glimpse of how this Angels season would go.
After that Opening Day slam, Milner was brought in with the Angels leading just four times in 18 games, and entered one other game that was tied. But for the most part, Milner was brought in when the team was losing. Of the 13 Angels who pitched at least five games in relief, Milner’s average leverage index ranked 10th.
Milner’s main problem was allowing home runs, five of them in only 59 batters faced. The Angels used him pretty much exactly as planned, with 73% of his opposing hitters batting from the left side. But they hit four of those five home runs, tattooing Milner to the tune of .256/.326/.564.
Against the Mariners though, Milner was his most effective. Facing Seattle in four games, Milner retired all six batters he faced, with three strikeouts.
Stats: 8.10 ERA, 7.69 FIP, 13⅓ IP, 13 K
Game of the year
Milner was mostly used in short stints, sometimes at the end of an inning if he didn’t face three batters. His longest outing saw him record four outs on Sept. 12, and it was at Coors Field to boot. Milner retired all four batters he faced in the sixth and seventh innings, striking out Garrett Hampson and Raimel Tapia.
Milner was eligible for salary arbitration this winter, but he was one of the five pitchers non-tendered by the Angels on Wednesday, making him a free agent.