One minute Wade Miley is getting ready for a lazy week without his Arizona Diamondbacks teammates. The next minute, he is scrambling to pack his bags for Australia with the news that Patrick Corbin has ligament damage in his elbow. Miley will now be starting the first game of the season instead of Corbin. A follow up question is can Miley also replace his fellow lefty as the team’s ace?
The answer for me is a resounding yes. Not as loud as the “YES” chants Daniel Bryan receives these days but pretty close. I expect a big year from Big Wade. If there is one word I would use to describe him, it would be bulldog. He threw 194 2/3 innings in his first full season and 202 2/3 innings last season. I have no doubt that number will go up to 220 and he will win at least 16 games. In many cases, pitchers that have big rookie seasons usually take a step back the following year. Miley was challenged in 2013 but he never broke. Sure, 10-10 is nothing that makes you say, “Wow” but his ERA was 3.55 ERA and while there were early starts that were often peppered with wildness, he always seemed to find a way to work out of trouble. Even if you believe Wade doesn’t fit the true mold of an “ace”, who else on the Arizona staff would be worthy of that title?
In three Spring starts, Miley has a 1.29 ERA over 14 innings. More importantly, he has only walked three batters while striking out 11. If those walks can remain under control, we could be looking at an 18 win season. At 27, Wade Miley should be just hitting his prime. It’s time for him to seize the moment.
Am I being too optimistic? Or do you share my enthusiasm?