According to the official Padres website, their current rotation consists of:
This combination of pitchers combined for a total fWAR of 5.1 in 2017. Two didn’t pitch in ’17 (Rea and Erlin) and one was negative fWAR (Lyles -0.3). Consider that Zack Greinke achieved this level of fWAR all on his own. I know WAR isn’t everything, but it’s good to add it to the pile of data we have available and use it as a quick reference. Like for todays subject, Wade Miley.
Wade Miley achieved 0.8 fWAR last season, which would put him handily in at number four out of the above bunch of players. How many starters do the Padres have on their current rotation? Well the official page says seven, but we all know it’s actually three. After Lamet, the Padres are looking at Minor League deals becoming Major League deals while banking on Erlin and Rea coming back fit and healthy. So much like last season, it’s all one year deals and much finger crossing. We all know where that got them, it got them Jered Weaver.
Miley has cost teams approximately $4m a year, except when the bloody Orioles once again overpaid for a player and gave him $8.75m. He wasn’t great and ultimately was declined his option year and has become a free agent.
This is where the Padres can swoop in, offer him a 1-year deal and ride that train once again. Except this time, they won’t be getting 2 IP per start like Weaver enjoyed putting up, instead they should be getting a strong 6 IP each start. Plus, there’s no DH to worry about, so at least Miley won’t be sat in the AL East having to face Judge and Stanton *shudder*.
But wait, what is Miley like? Why should the Padres give him money to be their number four or five starter?
Innings. Again, it’s all about innings with Miley, he only managed 157.1 last year, which is the lowest he has posted in his Majors career. Where does that put him in comparison to the Padres starters last year?
- Clayton Richard – 197.1 IP
- Jhoulys Chacin – 180.1 IP
- Luis Perdomo – 163.2 IP
- Wade Miley – 157.1 IP
- Dinelson Lamet – 114.1 IP
Hey! Again, Miley sits in that number four slot quite nicely.
What about some strikeouts per nine?
- Dinelson Lamet – 10.94 K/9
- Wade Miley – 8.12 K/9
- Jhoulys Chacin – 7.64 K/9
- Clayton Richard – 6.89 K/9
- Luis Perdomo – 6.49 K/9
Miley’s BB/9 and HR/9 were up on previous years, especially the walks which really hurt his game. However, his HR/9 were almost the same as Lamet’s (Miley 1.43, Lamet 1.42), which isn’t surprising given the amount of strikes they are throwing and strikeouts they are achieving.
How has Miley fared at Petco in his career?
In nine starts he has a 1-4 W-L record, 4.80 ERA, 54.1 IP, 16 BB, 39 SO, 1.454 WHIP.
Doesn’t breed much confidence does it? His most recent regular starts there (With the Diamondbacks) were 2013 and 2014. He had five starts with a 2.65 & 2.57 ERA respectively. But the important part about his nine career Petco starts is the 54 innings pitched.
54 / 9 = 6.
Just the number of innings the Padres would like their starters to go.
Steamer has Miley throwing 143 innings and making 26 starts next year. Strikeouts take a slight drop but more importantly his walks are expected to drop significantly and his HR rate is decreasing too. With a better BABIP, we see his ERA and FIP decrease as well, which in total raises his projected fWAR to 1.4. Now these are all projections and calculated guesses based on similar player histories, in this instance I buy it.
I don’t believe Wade Miley is done, he still has innings in his fast working left arm, he throws strikes and produces ground balls. He will be cheap and will probably accept a one-year deal in the hope to produce and get a bigger deal elsewhere.
The Padres aren’t going to compete this year, while they wait for their deep farm system to mature. They do however, need a stock of five guys that can go six innings six times a week. Like all the other “nothing to lose” deals the Padres seem to be making, this is another one they really should make.
If all else fails, you can have Wade partake in the pre-game milking competitions that he enjoys.