With Opening Day less than two weeks away, we’ll take a look at a member of the 2017 Orioles every day as they try to return to the postseason for the fourth time in six years.
SP Wade Miley
Opening Day age: 30
Contract status: Under contract through the 2017 season
2016 stats (with Seattle and Baltimore): 9-13, 5.37 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 7.4 K/9, 2.7 BB/9, 25 HR, 166 innings
Why to be impressed: It’s no secret that Miley struggled in 2016, but his 47.3 percent ground-ball rate ranked 25th among qualified major league starters, which fits well with the Orioles infield behind him. The left-hander also saw his strikeout rate spike after being traded to Baltimore as he punched out an impressive 9.2 batters per nine innings in 54 frames of work.
Why to be concerned: As if his 6.17 ERA with the Orioles wasn’t bad enough, Miley has seen his season ERA increase each year since his 2012 All-Star campaign with Arizona. He also had issues giving up the long ball as opponents clubbed 1.4 home runs per nine innings in 2016, and this doesn’t figure to be helped by pitching half of his games at Camden Yards for a full season.
2017 outlook: Opponents posted a .329 batting average on balls in play against Miley in 2016, and his fielding independent pitching mark of 3.79 upon being traded from Seattle suggests he experienced plenty of bad luck. No one should expect Miley to be anything but a back-of-the-rotation starter, but the Orioles need him to pitch competitive innings and his peripherals suggest that’s a fair possibility.
2017 not-so-scientific projections: 10-11, 4.58 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 7.7 K/9, 2.6 BB/9, 20 HR, 171 innings