Astros News

Astros: The Miley Chronicles Vol. 10, The unchanging changeup approach

bchancey
DENVER, COLORADO - JULY 03: Starting pitcher Wade Miley #20 of the Houston Astros throws in the fifth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on July 03, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
DENVER, COLORADO - JULY 03: Starting pitcher Wade Miley #20 of the Houston Astros throws in the fifth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on July 03, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /
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The Astros look like geniuses signing Wade Miley as he continues to dominate. He’s been consistent, reliable, and unhittable at times for opposing lineups.

Miley is as cool as the other side of the pillow, he’s a Steady Eddy, he’s the unmovable force, the unshakable stallion. The Astros know what they’re going to get when he takes the mound. You get focus, determination and an increased rate of the changeup. His CH% (changeup percentage is 25% or higher in five of his last ten starts, and he is 4-1 in those ten starts and in 3-0 in July.

The Astros have had a great July, and while Yuli Gurriel is lighting the world on fire offensively and Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole absolutely crushing the competition, you can’t ignore what Wade Miley is doing in 2019. This is the 7th year in his nine-year career where he has had 20 or more starts.

This season, he is flaunting the lowest ERA of his career, his 2nd highest K/9 innings of his career, the lowest BABIP (.242) of his career, as well as the highest LOB% (left of base %) of 81.0%. To say Wade Miley is having a career year is an understatement.

In mentioning the above statistics it doesn’t diminish his All-Star selection in 2012, nor does it allude to the fact that Wade Miley just now became an above-average starter. He has been steadily climbing the path as one of the most dependable arms, as well as one of the most underrated arms in the Majors.

The Astros front office surely did their homework and knew that getting him at $4.5 million was a steal. Miley, in his last start, struck out six batters and four of those six were swing and misses on his changeup. That has become his go-to pitch, and I would say his work with Brent Strom has definitely paid off as well.

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Miley hasn’t given up more than three runs in a game since June 22nd and hasn’t allowed more than five hits since June 9th. In the five games he’s started in July, he struck out five or more batters in four starts, along with going six innings or more in three of those five games.

The Miley Chronicles has shaped up to be an interesting read. Diving into his numbers and following him closely has made him one of my favorite pitchers. The Astros surely have to do what they can to get him on a two or three-year deal in the offseason. He fits well in the clubhouse as I have chronicled (play on words) and has embraced the coaching and guidance of the Astros staff.

Next. Do the Astros really need Syndergaard, Bauer, or Boyd to win it all?. dark

My philosophy in life has always been, it’s not about where you are at or even where you have been, it’s rather about where you are going. Wade Miley is trending upward and there is still room to improve. I wouldn’t say he’s overachieving, as some have suggested, but I would say he’s only beginning to reach his potential. Keep your eye on him, I think he’s going to be a surprising key to the great success I see this Astros team reaching in 2019.

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