The Miley Chronicles: The wonderings of the newest Astros player with a work ethic as tough and scruffy as his beard. This is volume 1: Miley Coyote
Wade Miley is slowly becoming a household name in Houston. I hear people saying Wade just a second. Make sure you don’t run too many Miley’s this week. Just another day in the life of the new Houston Astros pitcher right?
Well not exactly, he’s not the headliner, and he’s most likely not getting a bobblehead anytime soon, nor has he been invited to an H-E-B commercial shoot. I would argue that even if this were the case, Wade Miley would deflect the attention away from himself and focus on the team.
Miley has had his share of success and struggles since being called up to the Majors in 2011 with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He’s posted a 38-35 record along with one all-star appearance in 2012 with the D’Backs.
When the Struggles began…
In 2014 he was dealt to the Red Sox and as reported by Nick Piecoro of the AZ Central, an in-house rift came about. Miley seemed to be bothered by the news, and said: “I think it would tick anybody off.” The main point of the article was based on events leading up to his trade to Boston. At the time, the Diamondbacks traded Miley because of what they were able to get in return and anything other than that wouldn’t be a valid complaint as to why he was traded.
Time to Grow up…
Miley did note that early in his career, the first couple of Spring Trainings, he hunted more than he worked out. He was in the minors and when he struggled in his first full season in 2009, he mentioned that’s when he turned things around. Miley isn’t your headliner when it comes to gym rats but his hard work mentality is what pushed him to become an all-star in 2012.
He did start to hear about “his diet” only when his ERA went up, and nothing according to him had changed. So whatever behind closed door issues occurred, Wade Miley left the D’backs with respect for the organization and would put it as another feather in his cap as he continued to grind on a new ball club.
From 2015-2018 the Miley Coyote made his way onto the rosters of five MLB teams, and in those five years his ERA got as high as 6.17. Miley’s struggles seemed to continue on the mound despite winning 11 games his first year in Boston. From there, he would bounce around and as recently as 2017 with the Orioles, he struggled with command. At one point in 2017, he had 46 BB’s in 88.2 innings of work. Regardless he kept grinding.
Why Miley, Why Now?
So why would Houston want to pick up a left-hander with a history of issues? What would the Houston Astros front office see in Wade Miley? When I think about the Cartoon Wile E. Coyote, I remember him working really hard to catch the Road Runner and never quite getting him. I have heard there is an episode where he catches the Road Runner, but I personally have never seen it.
The Astros are looking at his season with the Brewers in 2018, and the work they have done with pitchers recently. I touched on this in a previous article about our newest southpaw.
Miley has ties to flame-throwing Will Harris, whom he played with in Arizona, and has Louisiana roots as well. He walked into the clubhouse in his blue jeans, scruffy beard, and an “I’m here to win” attitude. Something that fits in well with this hardworking club. A. J. Hinch described him as a hard-working veteran who has learned from his early struggles and comes to the park every day to find ways to get better.
When Wade Miley signed a minor league contract with the Milwaukee Brewers last offseason, he was able to revitalize his career. He added a new cut fastball against which opponents mustered a .561 OPS. Regardless, he struggled with injuries in the first half of the season. He is someone the Astros have pursued for more than one season. Now that he’s here he has been off to his best start since 2012.
He is 2-2 with a 3.20 ERA with four of his seven starts being quality starts, giving up no more than three runs in a single game. The offense has been somewhat anemic when he takes the mound. So regardless of his W/L record, he is off to a great start. Stay tuned for Volume 2 of the Miley Chronicles.