Arizona Diamondbacks: Wade Miley Aims to Reestablish Himself as Top of Line Starter

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

By no means did Arizona Diamondbacks starter Wade Miley have a poor MLB season in 2013. However, the 27-year-old southpaw knows he wasn’t exactly pitching his best either. In a nutshell, Miley’s overall performance trended in the same manner as that of the Diamondbacks overall. Some starts were great, others not so great and the rest were textbook mediocre, neither disappointing nor dazzling.

Miley finished with a 10-10 record (the Diamondbacks’ record in 2013 was also an even .500 at 81-81), a 3.55 ERA and 1.32 WHIP after 33 starts. He pitched just over 200 innings, so his durability remained consistent, but the rest of his numbers regressed from 2012, when he posted a 16-11 record, 3.33 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. Somewhat contrasting stats in back-to-back seasons beg an obvious question: Which Wade Miley Shows up on the mound in 2014?

If Miley’s Spring Training start against the Oakland Athletics on Friday was any indication, he’s making a stalwart effort to produce the best numbers of his career in his third full season donning Sedona Red. Miley worked five solid innings giving up one lone unearned run after shortstop Didi Gregorius made a costly throwing error. Miley only allowed three hits while walking one batter and fanning four. He told MLB.com after the game that he felt good about the outing, and that he’s continuing to make progress on his change-up, which can fade away from right-handed bats like clockwork when at its finest, nicely complimenting a fastball that has always consistently remained in the low-90s range.

Miley knows that he needs to step up as a top tier starter in a rotation coming off its share of problems the prior season. For his part, when other pieces of the rotation started faltering late in the season, Miley pitched his best games of the year and actually brought his ERA under three for the entire second half of the 2013 campaign. If today’s start is any indication, Miley isn’t content to merely pick up where he left off. He yearns to mold himself into a top of the line starter, willing to put in whatever work necessary to transform that yearning into reality before Opening Day.

Casey Gagnon is a writer at RantSports.com based in the Phoenix area.  You can follow him on Twitter @SportsCasey, “like” him on Facebook, and add him to your network on Google.

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