The Milwaukee Brewers signed some pitchers in hopes that they could resurrect their career. Two examples heading into Spring Training were Wade Miley and Ernesto Frieri, and both of them have had very different experiences.
Not everything can go according to plan, but if guys like this sign for cheap and they pan out, the organization looks genius. That is the buzz around Miley right now. The Milwaukee Brewers are seeing a great version of the veteran southpaw. However, Frieri has been released. Two very polar opposite camps for the veterans.
The Wade Miley Experience
I, along with many others, am guilty of not seeing the upside to this signing. In the last few years, Miley has been awful. It seemed to me that the only shot the lefty had to see the rotation was through several injuries to Brewers starters. This was just a cheap depth signing, and nothing else.
Time has passed since then, and Miley has given himself a legitimate shot at making the Milwaukee rotation to start the year. Through his first 13 innings, he gave up two runs. The control issues from last season seem to be a lot better too, as he’s only recorded five walks to this point. While that still might seem high, remember this is in comparison to his 5.32 BB/9 from a year ago.
The last outing for Miley, however, did not fare well. He gave up 10 hits over three innings and looked extremely hittable. Even with that, his chances to make the Milwaukee Brewers roster out of camp are still pretty good. It is still Spring Training, and though his performance has been good thus far, I would not expect it to fully carry over to the season. Miley is not a season long Band-Aid to the rotation, just a temporary one.
The Ernesto Frieri Experience
Through just over five innings, the veteran righty had an ERA that was quickly approaching eight. He did strikeout nine batters, but the rest of his trial with the Milwaukee Brewers was nothing to write home about. His eight walks translate to a very high WHIP. It was not what the team was hoping to see when they signed him to a minor league deal. Now, Frieri has been released.
Frieri was a long shot to make to make the roster. It was another depth signing with upside. There was a time when the righty was a dominant and reliable bullpen option. But much like Miley, that hasn’t been the case in recent seasons. With the poor performance from Frieri, things did not pan out.
This is another example of control issues; he just did not overcome them as well as Miley did. Frieri’s walk rate over the last few seasons is not good, and that continued during camp. Lack of control is what ultimately led to a lack of job.
It is not like Frieri is in a situation that was much different than Miley. They are both around the same age, they both were on minor league deals, and they both were long shots to make the roster.