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Deep Pickups 6/21: Pitchers

by Nick Nelson
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Tommy Milone - SP, MIN

Owned in 0% of Yahoo leagues


If you're looking for a high ceiling, Tommy Milone isn't going to be your guy. In his five major-league seasons, the left-hander has never posted an ERA below 3.74, and has never been much of a producer in the strikeout column.


However, if you're looking for reliability, Milone can offer that. He has also never posted an ERA above 4.19, and his solid control typically allows him to pitch deeper into games.


The 29-year-old got off to a bit of a rough start with Minnesota this year, registering a 5.79 ERA and 1.41 WHIP in his first five appearances. The Twins, off to an incredibly sluggish start, were in no position to be patient. They shipped Milone to the minors in early May following a crummy relief outing against the Astros.


The southpaw went to Rochester and got to work, peppering the strike zone and shutting down Triple-A lineups. In seven turns with Minnesota's International League affiliate, Milone went 4-0 with a 1.66 ERA, 0.93 WHIP and 41-to-4 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. In his most recent outing he fired seven shutout innings against Columbus, striking out eight while allowing only one walk and three hits. It was the fifth time in seven starts since his demotion that Milone completed at least seven frames while allowing two or fewer runs.


This is nothing new. Milone also obliterated Triple-A hitters over five starts during a short demotion last year (4-0, 0.70 ERA, 10.9 K/9), but of course, getting it done in the majors is a different matter. It bears noting that he evidently gained some confidence and momentum from last summer's trip to the minors, because he pitched extremely well for a stretch after returning to Minny.


Can Milone replicate that outcome now that he has been recalled? The Twins badly need him to. Their starting pitching has been abysmal and their bullpen has taken a beating. Milone has a consistent track record stretching over 600 MLB innings, and his recent success in the minors suggests that he is right physically.


Available in nearly every fantasy league, Milone makes for a nice flier if your staff could use some quality innings.


Tyler Anderson - SP, COL

Owned in 11% of Yahoo leagues


Tyler Anderson is not all that different from Milone, outside of the age and experience differential. He's a finesse lefty who attacks the strike zone, features a quality changeup, and has shown the consistent ability to get results.


Of course, in Anderson's case, those results have almost all been in the minors. The 2011 first-round draft pick had his path to the big leagues slowed by a stress fracture in his elbow that cost him the entirety of 2015. That setback came on the heels of a 2014 campaign where he went 7-4 with a 1.98 ERA in 23 starts at Double-A, seemingly putting himself on the brink of graduation.


This year, Anderson missed the month of April with an oblique injury but returned with a smooth run through the minors, posting a 2.64 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in six starts between three different levels. He delivered six shutout innings in his final outing at Triple-A, prompting the Rockies to call him up for his MLB debut.


Anderson excelled in his first start with Colorado, allowing only one run over 6 1/3 innings. He struck out six and walked none. Granted, it was against the Padres, but it was also at Coors Field. He followed up with another solid game in Miami on Sunday, holding the Marlins to two runs in 5 2/3.


He hasn't necessarily been wowing anyone with his stuff, but Anderson has missed some bats (10 strikeouts in 12 innings), induced a bunch of grounders, and avoided the nerves and command issues that plague many hurlers during their initial exposure to the majors.


His ability to work low in the zone should work to his advantage at Coors Field. In eight starts this year between the majors and minors, he has allowed only one home run.


Anderson has impressed thus far and looks to be building some security in the Rockies rotation.

Nick Nelson

Nick Nelson is a frequent contributor to NBC Sports Edge's baseball coverage and regularly blogs about the Minnesota Twins at Twins Daily. Follow him on Twitter @NickNelsonMN.