Why the Chicago White Sox need to avoid Wade Miley
By Samiya Green
Wade Miley is a free agent in a solid starting pitching market, but his poor performances late in the season were troubling so he should be avoided.
At the beginning of last season, Wade Miley looked like a top starting pitcher. As the regular season was coming to an end, his numbers took a turn and his performance on the mound put the Houston Astros in jeopardy. Just like that, Miley sat out the majority of the postseason and his free-agent stock went down. Even though, signing a starting pitcher is a top priority for the Chicago White Sox. Miley should not be on the team’s radar.
Pre All-Star break, he had an ERA of 3.28 and 86 strikeouts. Miley was one of the top starting pitchers and had control of his pitches. Along with budding free agent Gerrit Cole, Miley put up good numbers and proved that he can hang with an already star-studded starting rotation with the Houston Astros. Unfortunately, the way he started the season was not the way he ended it.
After the All-Star break, Miley’s numbers took a dive and his left hand was off. He had an ERA of 5.07 and his strikeouts declined by nearly half with 54. Granted, he’s never really been a big strikeout guy. The fall in the K column led hitters to take advantage, which handed him the worst month of his career last season. The month of September was dreadful for Miley. He posted a 16.68 ERA and went 1-2. The worst part about his pitching woes is that it followed him into the postseason.
It was the third game in the ALDS and the Astros were trailing 5-1 in the fourth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays. AJ Hinch needed to replace Zack Grienke so he called on Miley to put the Rays to rest but that was not the end result. He allowed four hits, three runs, two earned runs, and a walk. He did not bring his team closer to victory and was sent down for the rest of the postseason. Miley is a risky free-agent option for the Chicago White Sox because he is inconsistent.
A team cannot depend on this pitcher to do well when it matters most but this 2019 free agency is stacked with pitchers who can. Hyun-Jin Ryu could be a solid option for the White Sox. He had an ERA of 2.31 and 161 strikeouts. He showed tremendous pitching control all year and earned a postseason win. The Chicago White Sox has been active and it’s putting them on the radar for free agents. Therefore, the franchise’s ability to appeal to free agents this year will result in not having to settle for Miley.
The Chicago White Sox knows that the next step is improving their starting pitching rotation and Miley cannot be depended on to do it. And with the options out there, he is not worth the risk. With that being said, the front office would be better off avoiding him and focusing on efficient pitchers.