|Hoby Milner, image- Jay Floyd|
With Cleveland in the Cactus League, Milner allowed seven earned runs in seven innings over seven appearances while striking out nine and walking three.
After the Indians decided they could not keep Milner around, he rejoined the Phillies, where he was assigned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley to open the regular season.
Earlier this month, I spoke with Milner, who spoke on his experience with Cleveland and coming back to the Phils. Read ahead for that interview.
-What can you share about your whirlwind off-season and spring after being selected in the Rule 5 draft, going to the Indians and then coming back to the Phillies?
I thought it was a great experience, a great opportunity. It was a win-win for me. They picked me and I was going to get the opportunity in big league camp. They signed Boone Logan in the off-season after they Rule Fived me and, basically, I would have had to have been perfect to get an opportunity there and things just didn't fall into place for me to stay there, so I'm back.
-Was it a surprise to any members of the team that you were coming back or did the Phillies guys have a heads up?
I talked to a couple of the guys. Said, "I'm coming back. I'll be there tomorrow." And I'm pretty sure that most people knew I was coming back at that point. Yeah, 'cause I went to big league camp. Fortunately the Phillies were like, "Hey, we want you to come to big league camp so you can get to know the staff and let them see you a couple times."
-You mentioned win-win, so overall you're happy with the exposure you got and the time you spent with the big clubs this spring. Do you feel like you've developed more?
Yeah, definitely. I feel like I've got more confidence. I got to pitch in big league camp all spring and it was fine and just I thought it was good exposure. The teams that are all out in Arizona, I got to pitch against team I've never faced ever in the minor leagues. So, it was good.
-Is there anybody that you picked up a lot from in big league camp out there?
You know, not really. I think the only guy who throws close to how I throw was Andrew Miller and he was at the (World Baseball) Classic the whole time, so I really didn't get to talk to him. I really just watched how that clubhouse went about their business and they had a lot of veteran guys in that clubhouse and they all seemed to know what they were doing, so I learned a lot that way.