The Astros didn’t go out and sign another big arm to add to their rotation, nor did they resign Dallas Keuchel, what they did do is sign Wade Miley.
At first glance, a lot of Astros fans had a real issue with the signing, due to his less than stellar overall performances, except for one season. In Arizona, he posted 16 wins and 11 losses, 144 K’s, and only 27 walks in 194 innings pitched, along with his first and only All-Star selection. The Miley signing seemed to bother many since Houston let Charlie Morton walk and not re-sign “The Bearded One“.
What did the Astros see in Miley?
More than likely, they were looking at recent history as in the 2018 season where he was coming off an injury. Miley pitched solidly for the Milwaukee Brewers in the regular season, as well the playoffs. With him being primarily a fastball pitcher, they knew that he was used to throwing up to 200 innings in a season when healthy. As well they could more than likely get him to throw more curves sliders and off-speed type pitches, to either induce soft contact or minimize runs.
Another thing, they knew his past. Astros saw a pitcher that has had his ups and downs. Earlier in the year in Spring Training, Brian McTaggart ran a piece on Wade Miley and an old coach of his that taught him a valuable lesson. He interviewed his old coach and he told it like this: “I made it real simple,” Chris Westcott said. “You’ve got two options: You either work hard, or you’re going to milk cows. It’s up to you.” As McTaggart mentions, this apparent call from his former coach back in 2017 rejuvenated his career, and his pedigree seemed to fit with the Astros culture.
This team is all about hard work, earning their respect and never settling as well as seeking to #TakeitBack.
What have we seen in 2019?
Wade Miley is 1-2 with a 3.34 ERA. He has given up three runs or less in every start, two of those being quality starts. He has also been using his cutter a lot more than in the past. He’s throwing it 52.26% of the time and seems to be relying on it more than his slider, sinker, and even his curve. His curve is the 4th most used pitch with three others having more frequency.
- Cutter – 52.26% with 185 pitches thrown
- Change-up – 15.63% with 55 pitches thrown
- Four Seam – 15.34% with 54 pitches thrown
- Curveball – 13.34% with 47 pitches thrown
He’s getting the most swings and misses with his change-up, curve and actually his sinker which he has only thrown eight times. When he uses his four-seam as his primary pitch he has been successful, he threw a shutout against Oakland when this was his go-to pitch.
Miley is surrounded by a great staff, backed up by one of the top defenses and he is a hard worker. The coaching staff is the X factor and Brent Strom has become a guru of sorts when it comes to getting the most out of pitchers. Although Miley may not compete for a Cy Young, he looks to have another stellar year, with his main goal of helping the Houston Astros get back to the World Series.