The TinCaps saw a trio of roster changes late Wednesday, getting sent one bullpen arm to replace another going on the IL and receiving an infielder from Triple-A. Here's a breakdown of the three moves.
Jose Geraldo on the IL: Geraldo has been the TinCaps' closer since arriving in Fort Wayne in mid-June following a solid stint at Low-A Lake Elsinore. The 22-year-old right-hander has been every bit as good with the TinCaps, giving up zero earned runs in seven of his nine appearances with the High-A club and saving four games. In his most recent outing, however, he gave up a home run, his first since joining the team, raising his ERA with the TinCaps to 2.79. He has been a reliable arm out of the bullpen, a place Fort Wayne has struggled to find reliability, but he'll be out of commission for a while. In his absence, hard-throwing right-hander Carter Loewen could resume the closer duties. Loewen was the team's ninth-inning guy before Geraldo's call-up and did a good job; he moved to an eighth-inning role when Geraldo arrived. The TinCaps could also turn to Michell Miliano in the ninth. Who is Michell Miliano, you ask?
Michell Miliano promoted from Low-A Lake Elsinore to Fort Wayne: Miliano is the TinCaps' newest reliever. He is a 21-year-old right-hander and he does one thing better than just about anyone: he misses bats. In 18 appearances over 25 2/3 innings at Low-A this season, Miliano has struck out 52 hitters (that's more than 18 per nine innings) and has held opponents to a paltry .161 batting average. So far in his career, however, he has also struggled to throw strikes: he's walked 21 this season, a walk rate of more than 7 per nine innings that is relatively in line with his career mark at lower levels. That's the part that may keep him from being the TinCaps' new closer, but he'll likely get plenty of work as the Padres see him against more qualified hitters. Fangraphs ranks Miliano the No. 45 prospect in the San Diego farm system and gives his curveball one of the higher ratings in the system. Between lefty Erik Sabrowski and Miliano, Fort Wayne has some very good hooks on the staff. Miliano also touches 95 mph with his fastball.
Utilityman Tyler Malone sent from Triple-A El Paso to Fort Wayne: Malone was a 2019 draftee who had a lot of success in rookie ball as a relatively unheralded prospect out of Oregon State (he was a 27th-round pick). He was sent to Triple-A to start the season (likely because El Paso needed bodies) and has played sparingly this year, appearing in seven games across three months (two in May, one in June and four from July 9-13). Now he's with Fort Wayne and can be used to plug holes just about anywhere they appear in the lineup. Malone is a high-OBP player (he got on base at a .398 clip in rookie ball and had an OBP above .400 as a sophomore at Oregon State), but he doesn't have much power. He'll fit right in with the TinCaps' team offensive concept of walking their way on base and manufacturing runs from there.