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Sep 15, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Tommy Milone (57) throws during the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Who will win, Straily or Milone?

2013 was not friendly to Tommy Milone. He was wildly inconsistent and was eventually demoted to Triple A. This made room for Sonny Gray to come up and shine like he did. Milone came back up to the majors in the bullpen, but he wasn’t able to recover.

2013 was a lot nicer for Dan Straily. He was called up as soon as Brett Anderson went on the DL. Straily took advantage of his opportunity and impressed the organization enough to keep him around for the entire season. He was inconsistent as well, but his outings were generally better than Tommy Milone.

So who is going to make it in the rotation and who is going to be starting off at at Triple A? Well let’s look at some numbers to try and figure that out.

In 2013, Tommy Milone had an ERA of 4.14 over 26 starts. That doesn’t seem all too bad compared too Straily’s 3.96 ERA over 27 starts. Both were inconsistent, so how can you tell which will be on the roster?

Most might assume that it would be Straily, since he was promoted and not demoted, but I wouldn’t count Milone out just yet. Their numbers are actually similar, and both were inconsistent. The reason Milone seems worse is because we had high expectations after what we saw him do in 2012. Straily was called up from Triple A, he was a rookie, so there’s more focus on the outstanding outings over the bad ones. In reality, both guys are similar in stats and 2013 performances.

What it all comes down to is performance this Spring. If both do outstanding and stay consistent, then they both would deserve a spot, but only one can have it. Unless A.J. Griffin falters, only one spot is up for grabs. That means it will be a close between the two. It won’t come down to past performances, it comes down to who can put up good numbers on a consistent basis.

If Milone has amazing outings and has a shut out or two, but also has bad outings, then the spot is Straily’s as long as he does a decent job, without bad outings. Consistency is what the A’s are looking for. Not star like numbers but numbers they can count on getting ever 5 days from the 5th spot. Bob Melvin is giving Milone a fair shot to both this spring. Throw out past numbers. Throw out 2013. Throw out what these guys have done in the past. If you want to know who is going to have the final spot, look ahead. Look at the future. Whichever guy is consistent will be the one in the rotation. The other guy will end up in Sacramento. so who will it be, Straily or Milone?

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Tags: A's Dan Straily Oakland A's Tommy Milone

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