Wade Miley burst onto the scene for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2012, becoming a staff ace thanks in large part to his impeccable control.
Featuring a low-90’s fastball with a good slider and changeup (while mixing in an occasional curveball), Miley finished last season with a 3.33 ERA, 4.5 WAR and 1.18 WHIP. The stat that really stood out was his elite 1.71 BB/9, which was one of the best in baseball.
In his sophomore season, Miley has gotten off to a decent start and is striking out almost a full batter more per nine in the early part of the season with a good 3.06 ERA. Unfortunately, he has struggled with his command. Last season, Miley walked more than two batters in a game just twice in the entire season.
This year, he has walked at least three in four of his first six starts, including a seven-walk performance on April 27. After walking just 37 batters in 194.2 innings in 2012, he has already walked 17 in only 35.1 innings.
Despite the struggles, he has managed to limit the damage and keep the D-Backs in every ballgame he’s started, while allowing more than two runs in just two starts so far. His seven-walk game could’ve been considered an aberration, but after allowing nine hits while walking three in five shaky innings against the San Diego Padres in his next start, there has to be some growing concern.
Miley toes the rubber Wednesday night against the Los Angels Dodgers, and if he can show some improved control, he can ease a lot of worries. If he struggles again, however, there’s clearly an issue that Miley and his coaches are going to have to work hard to fix.