Astros: Mid-year review of Houston’s offseason acquisitions
Wade Miley – LH/SP
Miley was another free agent addition in the offseason that didn’t move the needle on the Richter Scale a whole lot. I think most fans were expecting the front office to go after a top tier starting pitcher and I think they did inquire about a couple, but I feel the price tag was probably too high.
Last season was Miley’s best season of his career going 5-2 with a 2.57 ERA and a 161 ERA+. Those numbers were even better than his rookie year when he had a 16-11 record and an ERA of 3.33. That season he was selected to the National League All-Star Team and came in second in the voting for the Rookie of the Year Award.
What worried me, and many other fans I’m sure, was the five years in between last season and his rookie year. In that span, Miley only won 43% of his games and his ERA was a much higher 4.59. So, was his 2012 and 2017 seasons a fluke or was he just going through hard times in the middle? Plus, his 2018 season was cut short, marred by injuries. Will the real Wade Miley please stand up?
Well, it looks like last season may not have been an anomaly after all. In all 16 of Miley’s appearances last year, he never gave up more than three runs a game. He carried that streak into this season, going eight more straight games of never surrendering over three runs. He finally gave up four runs in his ninth game, but he still has only done that twice so far this season.
In fact, if you take out the strikeout numbers, Miley has stats extremely similar to Gerrit Cole‘s. In both of their first 18 starts, they each had a 3.28 ERA, both had given up 86 hits, and they both had the exact same ERA+ of 136. Many other numbers across the board are also very close. It’s like he’s the left-handed version of Cole, without the strikeouts.
Miley has become quite a pleasant surprise this season and is costing the Astros only $4.5 million in 2019. That’s a huge difference than what one of those more well-known pitchers would have cost. Unfortunately, he becomes a free agent next year, right along with Cole.