With Jimmy Nelson set to miss a chunk of the 2018 season, the Milwaukee Brewers are in need of some pitching help.
The answer may be overseas in Japan right now. And it is not Shohei Otani. It is Miles Mikolas, a former MLB player who went over to polish his game. A story reminiscent of when the Milwaukee Brewers brought Eric Thames in before this season.
Mikolas spent two years in the majors playing for the Padres and Rangers. However, it did not go very well. His career ERA was above five. Not ideal to bring in. But then again neither were the numbers for Thames in the majors when that happened. Keep in mind when he began a stint in the rotation towards the end of his 2014 year, he pitched serviceably.
A Japanese team took notice, and purchased his contract prior to the start of the 2015 season. That is possibly the best thing to ever happen to Mikolas. Through 424 innings, he holds a 2.18 ERA with a great strikeout rate.
The best part is that Mikolas is looking to return to the MLB.
It is an option to look into. The way it looks is that the sensation of Otani is not going to land with the Milwaukee Brewers. So, why not take the lesser known name that is pitching extremely well? He sounds like a member of the Crew already.
The righty will be 30 next season, however, is pitching at the top of his game now. His time in Japan possibly gives him a new approach to hitters. Thames hit breaking pitches better after coming back from overseas, so Mikolas, in theory, probably refined his breakers.
What Mikolas truly poses is a cheaper option with upside potential for a few years. But the cheap price tag is because of the unknown. His return to the MLB is no promise of imminent success. Then again, neither was Thames.
If the price is not too high, Mikolas is absolutely worth a flier for the Milwaukee Brewers. They need help, and he threw his way to a great track record in Japan. A 2.18 ERA is really good. Not to mention, his BB/9 during the success is at 1.1. He does not walk a lot of hitters.
The truth is, Mikolas may not get the time of day while Otani is still on the table. But with his numbers, he potentially provides a solid starting option to any rotation. He could be a cheap answer to the Nelson conundrum to open up the 2018 campaign.