The Milwaukee Brewers lost Wade Miley towards the end of Spring Training when he looked like the clear cut candidate for the fifth rotation spot. His rehab is about to start.
Miley will be rehabbing in Biloxi, then ideally will be ready to join the Milwaukee Brewers a short time after that. Fans seemed to be split about how the veteran southpaw should be used after spring camp. Some thought he should be in the rotation, and some were not sold on him.
The Miley Effect
I am documented as being against Miley in the rotation. His Spring Training performance was excellent, but it was just Spring Training. However, the Brewers need him now. The biggest thing that Miley can do is get Brent Suter out of the rotation. It was a nice experiment to have the younger lefty in the rotation, but he is clearly better in a long relief role.
If Miley can come back half as good as he did in Spring Training, then it will help the rotation. For awhile the team could blame lackluster defense more so than pitching, but those days are running thin. While the defense is still not great, it is getting better. As it does, the pitching struggles become more apparent.
Junior Guerra looked good enough in his first outing to deserve another. Suter on the other hand had an ERA close to five before he gave up another three runs to Cincinnati. So, it would seem that once Miley is back in shape, Suter will be either in the bullpen or sent down to the minors.
The numbers point to Suter being much better as a reliever than starter. His fastball is a nice change of pace. But is starter ERA of over four is nowhere near his 1.52 ERA in relief. To be fair, he has upwards of 70 more innings in relief. That is where Miley can come in and improve the rotation.
During Spring he was throwing strikes with multiple pitches and locating them. If he can do that, then he will be extremely serviceable in the back end of the rotation. What killed him last season was his BB/9 above five. If that comes down, then hopefully does his ERA.
I never thought I would want Miley in the Milwaukee Brewers rotation, but here we are. It gets better with Suter not in it, and whether the right guy is a healthy Wade Miley or not, it is a step in the right direction. Something needs to happen to improve the starters and take stress off of the bullpen.