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Milwaukee Brewers: Is Josh Tomlin the next Wade Miley?

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 27: Starting pitcher Josh Tomlin #43 of the Cleveland Indians throws in the first inning against Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on September 27, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 27: Starting pitcher Josh Tomlin #43 of the Cleveland Indians throws in the first inning against Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on September 27, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /
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The Milwaukee Brewers just signed pitcher Josh Tomlin to a minor league deal. Here is why Tomlin could be the next Wade Miley.

The Milwaukee Brewers had their expectations blown away with Wade Miley in 2018. Signed to a minor league deal, Miley was just going to try to compete for a spot in camp. He impressed enough to stick with the club, and made 16 starts, pitching to a 2.57 ERA, giving the Brewers plenty of surplus value on his minor league contract.

For a small market team, getting surplus value out of contracts is important. With Wade Miley now elsewhere, it makes sense to look for the next Wade Miley. For Milwaukee, that very well could be Josh Tomlin.

Miley’s Stats Before Coming To Milwaukee

With Tomlin and Miley, the Milwaukee Brewers brought in pitchers in their 30’s who had not seen a lot of statistical success in their careers. From 2015-2017, Miley had a 5.10 ERA, and an average WHIP of 1.49. He also won an average of 9 games over that three year period.

Despite having below average stats for most of his career, Miley did have a couple of bright spots.  In 2012 and 2013, he had an average ERA of 3.44 and an average WHIP of 1.20. He also averaged 13 wins over that two year time period.

Tomlin’s Stats Before Coming To Milwaukee

From 2016-2018, Tomlin had an average ERA of 5.17, and an average WHIP of 1.31.  He also won an average of 8 games over that three year period.  This includes a 13 win season in 2016 and a two-win season last year.

Similar to Miley, Tomlin has had below average career stats with some bright spots. In 2011, he had a 12 win season with a decent stat line.  He had an ERA just above 3.00 in limited action in 2015 and had the aforementioned 13 win season in 2016.

Did anyone see a career year for Miley coming when he signed in the spring of 2018? Probably not. Very few people are probably predicting that Tomlin will have a career year in 2019. When looking at the career paths of these two starting pitchers, there are enough similarities to think that it is possible for Tomlin to be the Wade Miley of 2019.

Former pitching coach Derek Johnson helped Miley fine tune his cutter, a pitch that helped him out tremendously in 2018. Perhaps new pitching coach Chris Hook can do something similar with Tomlin to get his career back on track.

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Similar to Miley, Tomlin brings a veteran presence to this pitching staff and he is a low risk, high reward signing.  If there is one thing that David Stearns does better than most it’s finding the diamonds in the rough. Tomlin may be another example of that this year.

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