Milone is not an exceptional pitcher. He is a good command lefty with a fastball that tops out 89 mph if the breeze blows just right. His ability to be a back end southpaw is based on his mix of changeups, curve balls, and cutters. Milone's success last season was derailed for a bit with a forearm strain and some time rehabbing in the minors. Upon his return, the cutter disappeared and his starts were less useful. Removing the cutter from his repertoire is a concern as it suggests that the injury issue was still present or, at least, he was concerned the cutter would hurt his ability to improve arm strength. That said, he only threw about a mile per hour slower upon his return.
In Twins camp, Milone is trying his best to be the only lefty in the Twins rotation. He is currently facing off with the very well paid (but so far disastrous) Ricky Nolasco for that fifth starter spot. One could imagine Milone being available from the Twins, but what exactly could the Orioles offer in return? Also keep in mind that the Twins also have Danny Santana and Oswaldo Arcia who could provide some left handed outfielder options for the Orioles.
Where Milone still stands in perceived competition to get into the rotation, Chris Rusin instead looks toward sticking on as a longman who will spot start. The Rockies appear to be shifting toward collecting pitchers who light up the guns and away from those that depend highly on off speed pitches. Rusin finds himself chucking a 90 mph fastball occasionally, but that is not where he lives. He lives with his 89 mph sinker and induces a great deal of groundball contact. A curveball and change up round up his pitches.
His troubles in Colorado largely dealt with poor defense, his sinker not sinking as much, and poor receivers. In Baltimore, he would not have to deal with many of those things. He would not be great, but I would think Rusin's 50% groundball rate would play better than Millone's 40% rate. Rusin is a player who I think is quite likely to find himself pitching for another team by the end of Spring Training. Maybe the Orioles, he certainly does a few things Baltimore likes.
Like Milone, Oberholtzer is trying to insert himself as the lone left hander in a rotation, but appears to be seen more as a long relief left handed option. He, too, is a lefty who tops out in the upper 80s. He has gotten by with a two seamer, a change up, and a knuckle curve. Last season saw an uptick in groundball rates from his historical 40% to 50%, which also coincided with him having trouble with blisters. That trouble led to issues throwing his knuckle curve. I would put his profile between Rusin and Milone, but Oberholtzer's past prospect status was slightly more rosier. However, the bloom is off that rose.
It is questionable whether the Orioles would be able to get Oberholtzer from the Phillies without giving up something of some significance. Phillies are going nowhere and it helps having a guy who can log innings. They have long had a shine for Parker Bridwell, so a one for one could make sense.
Doubront use to have a low 90s fastball and was a promising back end arm in the Boston rotation. In the last three years though, a shoulder injury was followed with loss of velocity and poor command of his pitches. To make amends, he has embraced the cutter. However, the new proportional pitch mix has given little indication he may be able to replicate what he did in his early to mid 20s that made him somewhat interesting.
The Athletics appear to be eyeing a long relief role for him, but would probably deal him for an interesting fringe prospect. So what is a left handed pitcher worth who strikes out few batters, walks too many, and gets tagged hard? Eh.
Hand is another fringe 5th starter who gets the ball on the ground and has decent velocity for a left hander. He works both a four and two seam fastball, an inconsistent curve, and a decent change. His main problems are that he has difficulty hitting his spots and difficulty missing bats. Hand has performed better as a reliever than he has as a starter and it would not be surprising for the Marlins to value him as the long man. He is still fighting for that 5th slot though.
Sean Nolin feels like a left handed version of Miguel Gonzalez. He gets by with an above average changeup and needs good command of a lackluster 90 mph fastball. He also mixed in plenty of cutters and a show me breaking ball. There are question marks, of course. In 2014, his fastball rode around 93-94 mph. A hernia surgery, groin issues, and shoulder soreness saw him working for the Athletics in the upper 80s. Now with the Brewers on a waiver wire pickup, he is a low value, high risk kind of pitcher. Again, this is MiGo though MiGo was never supposed to work out. Nolin is a longshot as well.
St. Louis Cardinals
While we are on comparisons, Lyons makes me think of Brian Matusz. Lyons was a somewhat promising southpaw (though nowhere near as promising as Matusz) and has been roughed up in his stints starting for the Cardinals. At best, they see him as a swingman, but probably have him slated on the edge of the bullpen as a lefty one out guy. He works with a fastball, sinker, slider, and changeup which happens to be what Matusz works with. The main difference is that Matusz' slider is a little harder than Lyons.
Lyons would give the Orioles a cheaper left handed option in the pen for this year and beyond. He will provide a potential solution to Matusz' exit after this season. Of course, one does not plan much to ensure there is a situational lefty on the squad and Lyons' days starting may be as wishful as Brian Matusz still having that option.