OAKLAND -- The acquisition of pitcher Jeff Samardzija was good news for most of the A's, but not lefthander Tommy Milone, who was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento Saturday to make room for Samardzija on the roster.
It was a bit of a surprise move considering how well Milone had been pitching -- 6-0 with a 2.82 over his last 11 starts after starting the season 0-3 with a 5.86 ERA. But the A's preferred to keep Milone on his regular starting turn rather than move him to the bullpen.
Melvin said breaking the news to Milone was one of the toughest things he's had to do as a manager.
"If you're in my position, what do you even say to a guy like that?," Melvin said. "Not only has he been terrific here in his last 10 starts, he has meant a lot to us for three years now. That one was awfully hard. It really took quite awhile trying to figure out what I would say to him, but really nothing came to mind. He was a little bit shocked and understandably so, but you haven't seen the last of Tommy Milone here."
Milone's teammates were no less disappointed to see his departure from the club.
"I feel terrible for him," said closer Sean Doolittle. "He's one of the most liked guys in this clubhouse and a great teammate. It was really tough when I walked in here today and saw him cleaning out his locker, for sure."
Added catcher Stephen Vogt, "This game is cruel sometimes. Tommy's earned his spot in the big leagues and I'm sure he'll be back soon. He's going to be a big part of this team going down the stretch, there's no doubt in my mind about that."
Milone had departed the park before the media received clubhouse access to speak to players.