Before the Cincinnati Reds Hot Stove League show tonight on 700 WLW, Cincinnati Reds General Manager Nick Krall and newly signed left-handed starting pitcher Wade Miley took questions from the local press. You can watch/listen below.

Original article below:

As with nearly every move made in sports, there are going to be varying opinions on said move. Today the Cincinnati Reds made it official, announcing the signing of left-handed pitcher Wade Miley to a 2-year deal worth $15M (which includes the $1M buyout for his option year in 2022 if the team declines). We’ll have some opinions from the Redleg Nation staff on the move later this week, but for today we are going to look at what some of the media around the country is saying about the move. Be sure to go read each piece in full, as they all have far more information than what is shared here and the move and how Miley could help the team.

Beyond The Box Score

Kenny Kelly wrote earlier today that Wade Miley gives the Cincinnati Reds the best rotation in the National League Central.

With the Astros, Miley threw 167 1?3 acceptable innings. Though every ERA estimator suggested he was worse than his 3.98 ERA, they still have him pegged as a roughly league average pitcher. He’s a fitting addition for an already strong Reds rotation that features Sonny Gray and Luis Castillo at the top with Trevor Bauer and Anthony DeSclafani in the middle.

Wade Miley is not the sort of signing that puts a team over the top, but it’s a reminder that the Reds are closer to a division title than their 75-87 record would indicate. Baseball Prospectus’s third-order winning percentage, which is based on the team’s underlying performance and adjusts for the quality of their opponents, had the Reds in a virtual tie with the Brewers at 86 wins and two games behind the Cubs and a surmountable five games behind the Cardinals.

Ken Rosenthal at The Athletic

Also published earlier this afternoon, Ken Rosenthal takes a look at Wade Miley and what exactly happened to him last season with the Houston Astros. On August 30th he had a 3.06 ERA in 156.0 innings with 54 walks and 134 strikeouts. Hitters had a .677 OPS against him. And then September happened. In three of his five starts he didn’t record more than three outs. In two of them he didn’t record more than ONE out. Hitters posted a 1.205 OPS against him in those five starts and his ERA was 16.68 as he allowed 21 runs over 11.1 innings with seven walks and just six strikeouts.

Check your glove.

Miley, 33, thought he had checked everything. He maintained to reporters several times in September he was not tipping pitches. But it turned out that was exactly his problem.

Fangraphs

Jake Mailhot, who I assume is from the Hotmail dot com family tree, wrote about the re-unification of Wade Miley and Derek Johnson in Cincinnati.

Adding Miley wasn’t a huge boost to their projected WAR but he does provide some needed consistency. He effectively bumps Tyler Mahle — a league average starter in his own right — from the rotation, but Miley has a long track record of durability. He’s surpassed 150 innings pitched in seven of his eight full seasons in the majors with the only exception being his year in Milwaukee where he dealt with a couple of non-throwing arm injuries. Reuniting with Johnson gives Miley the best chance of maximizing his ceiling while he continues to hone his repertoire in the later stages of his career.

C. Trent Rosecrans at The Athletic

As would be expected, Trent was quickly on top of things over at The Athletic. Several days ago he chimed in on what the move means, or at least could mean for the Cincinnati Reds.

It wasn’t that long ago — just about three years — that Scott Feldman was the Reds’ Opening Day starter. A year later, Homer Bailey started the first game and Tyler Mahle, a rookie with four big-league starts under his belt, started the team’s fourth game of the season.

With the addition of lefty Wade Miley, Mahle appears on the outside of the 2020 rotation, a sign of just how far the team has come in building its rotation over the past two seasons.

The Overall Reaction

No one seems to believe that this is a true game changing type of move. But for the price paid, that shouldn’t be expected. What it does seem though is that everyone seems to believe this move makes the Cincinnati Reds better. Between being an upgrade to the rotation, it also gives the team depth to work with, too.

35 Responses

  1. Steves

    Good move, needed a lefty. Not first on the list, but on the list.

  2. Colorado Red

    I really like the move. If he runs out of gas is Sept, so be it.
    We still need upgrades at SS and C (most important).
    We also need a left handed RF to platoon with AA.
    I think CF will be ok, with Nick.

    • Sean

      There’s not really good catcher upgrade options, I don’t want to sacrifice defense for a catcher because I think Barnhart and Casali handle the staff super super well. Only someone like grandal or realmuto really made sense because they offered upgrades on both sides of the ball. I’m comfortable with Barnhart and Casali especially if they upgrade other places. Also important to note is that after his injury Barnhart was a lot better of a hitter, and limiting his plate appearances to mostly lefties is fine.

      • TBD

        Sean
        “Also important to note is that after his injury Barnhart was a lot better of a hitter, and limiting his plate appearances to mostly lefties is fine.”
        Great point !

    • JB

      Your left handed RF is already on the team. They need to decide between Dickerson, Castellanos and Ozuna for left.

    • Tman

      Mlb network uncovered the fact he was tipping his pitches in September which an ex team mate told him. Back out a awful September and he was 3rd in Era

  3. Sliotar

    Of the final 4 NL teams in the playoffs, (Nationals, Cardinals, Braves, Dodgers) …. all but the Cardinals had 4 pitchers with more than 20 starts … and the rest from multiple guys.

    Example – the Nationals, who are associated with excellent starting pitching, got starts from:

    Erick Fedde 12
    Joe Ross 9
    Austin Voss 8
    Jeremy Hellickson 8

    That’s 37 starts from “meh” guys…not insignificant.

    However, once the playoffs hit, they weren’t starting games. Same with Reds…doubtful Miley would ever see a postseason start.

    I wouldn’t have thought the Miley signing to cause any stir… maybe folks are getting antsy about landing a hitter or two.

    • Redsvol

      very good analysis Silostar. Shows that the 5th starter position shouldn’t just be “throw-away” starts. To make the playoffs, those 30 starts matter and should be manned by a competent starter. I’ve seen very little in Mahle that makes me feel he should be given the 5th starter position. Bell may have a quick hook but don’t give up 3-4 runs in 4 innings and you might not get pulled.

      I’d like to see us land an outfielder but I’m also ok with this offense. I think its more important to land a couple relief pitchers because those guys almost always have an inconsistent year after a good year.

      • TBD

        Redsvol
        ” I’ve seen very little in Mahle that makes me feel he should be given the 5th starter position.”
        Doesn’t really matter the name in the 5th slot. I don’t think any pitcher should be “given the 5th starter” slot.
        Typically pitchers need to earn the 4th and 5th slots.
        If he (insert name) can earn it, so be it, whoever that is.

  4. Tom Mitsoff

    Sooooooo … Miley’s bad September was due to tipping his pitches and not fatigue or injury? Does that mean the Reds are getting the pitcher who won 14 games with a 3.06 ERA for five months of the season? If that’s so, this could be another Sonny Gray-like acquisition and should not be diminished in importance.

    He also bears resemblance to Tanner Roark in that Miley averaged 5.07 innings per start last year. Certainly the bad September brought that average down. Miley averaged 2.26 innings per start in five September starts.

    • AirborneJayJay

      ^^^This.
      Miley isn’t going to go 30 straight starts of giving up 6 or fewer hits, or whatever Gray’s streak is. But I’m picking up what you are laying down.

  5. Mark Moore

    Generally good with it. A solid LHSP is always nice to have.

  6. MBS

    I like it a lot. Miley is a nice complement to the staff, and a much need left handed starter.

    Speaking of Lefties, who makes their big league debut first Lodolo or Naughton. I think both have an outside chance on being on the club by seasons end.

  7. JB

    I was hoping to never hear the name Scott Feldman again. Then you remind me he was our opening day starter. I cant believe that was only 3 years ago.

    • Optimist

      Aside from Opening Day, the list is hilariously long – Adelman, Davis, Sampson, Stephens, McGuire, Moscot, Wright, Melville, Lamb and on and on.

      This is a fine move, always filling for injuries, keep the flamethrowers in the pen, and a LHer. Also keep Mahle on track as a starter for another year, even with fewer IPs.

      Also agree with the comment above about keeping the C intact, and as the 8th place in the order. Stephenson is coming along there, and Tucker/Casali should be average enough.

      To go far this year, get the SS. To go farther, get another OF bat. As is, they’re looking to fight for a wild card at worst.

      First time in 5-6 years they don’t have several AAAA players on the 25-man.

  8. Lockersocks79

    So far this off season is okay, but isn’t living up to the hype or potential the Reds had. While Miley and Moustakas help solidify the team they aren’t enough to guarantee a playoff run.

    I believe that most of us have watched as most of the players that we really coveted were quickly picked up with a few players going for decent prices (Didi 14 mil/1 year) or traded for crumbs (Kluber) and are now thinking “WTH”.

    With the potential to add 40-50 million in payroll I was expecting the Reds to pick up an elite piece or two, not middle of the field players.

    • Wes

      Didi was only top free agent that got less than projected and at end of day reds passed on him; they and anyone else in the league could have had Kluber but everyone passed. Maybe it’s bc they are on as good as u think they are ?

      • Lockersocks79

        Even if you were correct the Reds still haven’t done enough up to this point to put the team in a better position to make the playoffs. The Reds should have been more aggressive with the FA market and they had the money and stated that they planned to spend that money improving the team.

        My opinion is that Reds have hesitated and might be left in the dust.

        Mom and dad: “we have a lot of cash for Christmas gifts this year kids, were definitely getting you some nice toys this year!”

        Kids: “awesome a Nintendo Switch, Beats and maybe a DJI Mavic Pro!”

        Mom and Dad: “Well the Nintendo’s sold out, we decided to skip the Mavic Pro and forgot about the Beats but we scored some beanie babies, three cardboard boxes and a jump rope!”

        Kids: “we want to be put up for adoption.”

  9. Scott C

    I am with others as far as the catcher situation, no need to get another catcher if there is not decent upgrade. But we do need to upgrade the offense at shortstop. If we don’t, then the end of our lineup is a big hole.

    • CP

      Catcher will hopefully have an internal upgrade later this year or first of next with Tyler Stephenson. This guy has really shown the ability to hit the last two years, now that he has finally been removed from the bad luck injuries getting started. Even the Reds aren’t aggressive with him and start him where he finished in AA, he could be ready for a late season call up as they push for the playoffs.

  10. TBD

    doofus
    “Catcher upgrade = Tyler Stephenson” – Good point. could be a call up later in the year.

  11. MK

    I think he is going to perform similarly to Bronson Arroyo. There will be 2/3 of the time he provides a quality 6 or 7 there will be others where he will not get out of the first or second. In his biography Tommy John said a #5 starter is very successful if he can go 10-10 meaning 1 thru 4 are all above .500. I think Miley fits that bill to a tee.

  12. Wes

    2020
    Bauer
    Castillo
    Gray
    Disco
    Miley

    21
    Castillo
    Gray
    Miley
    Lodolo
    ??

    2022
    Castillo
    Lodolo
    Greene
    Gray
    ??

    Disco was 4/5 less homers away from a fantastic season last year. Is he enough to solidify the rotation in 21 and 22? Either way reds gotta be thinking team friendly extension….

    • CP

      No Mahle in your projection for the Reds rotation in 2021 and beyond? I think he can easily be the back end or even middle of the rotation guy they will need. If Lodolo or Greene make it, that will be such a huge boost to extending their playoff window. If both work out, they will really have some cash freed up in 2022 to address other areas of need.

  13. Rod Andrews

    Adding Miley sure doesn’t hurt, but Mahle is still young and unless traded, is still a good prospect. Team still needs to add at least one more hitter to be significantly better than last year. I still don’t look at them as the division favorite.

  14. Steve Schoenbaechler

    Boy, it seems like some people need to consider things.

    For instance, some are talking about the “signing that puts us over the top”. When I hear that, I think people are looking for the next Big Red Machine of the 70’s. That will not happen anymore. Besides, no “one player” is going to put a 4th place team over the top.

    Is Moose an MVP player? No. But, does he make this team better? Yes.

    Is Miley a Cy Young pitcher? No. But, does he make this team better? Yes. A left handed starter, a groundball pitcher, reunited with who many believe resurrected Miley’s career (pitching coach DJ), better than Mahle, I like it. It makes us better.

    But, something else that few have talked about. Moose won a WS with KC. Miley was with the Astros last year, apparently playing a key piece in their season. These two guys have experienced “winning”.

    But, our team lost a lot of close games last season, typical of a young team who “doesn’t know how”. These guys could possibly, hopefully, be guys who can press for the players to step it up. I’m referring to the veteran presence all young teams need.

    Frankly, I like what I’ve seen so far from the FO.

    Something else I haven’t heard anything about in any of these discussions, what about JVM? I literally haven’t heard his name associated with anything, and he was the first bat called up last season from AAA, even before AA. Is JVM even still on this team?

    • Optimist

      All true, and even before JVM, when is that last time you heard a mention of A Blandino? Excellent OBP, quality 5th infielder, apparently excellent teammate/fundamental ballplayer.

      Sure, they’re an all-star short of a confident playoff bid, but the work done so far should easily have them looking at a wild-card into September.

      Still need an OF bat in case AA flames out, and a premium SS, but the pitching is deep, and that’s before any discussion of Wood returning, or Reed, Sims, or a AAA pitcher forcing a call up.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        Entirely agree on Blandino. If he comes into ST with that OBP, I believe he may force some decisions.

    • CP

      Also, it’s not like Freddy Galvis has no value. He plays a good defensive SS with solid power, especially for a SS. 15-25 HR out of your SS will play. He just isn’t going to get on base a ton, but we just lived with that last year, and to top it off didn’t get the power out of the SS position.

  15. scotly50

    Wheeler would have been the one that would have made me issue a big “Hell Yeah”.

    Signing Miley does not make the Reds any better….maybe. Take away that stretch in 2018 and he has not been very good. But he will help the steam if the injury bug bites again.

    • RojoBenjy

      Wheeler, when he was recovering from TJS, was offered to the Reds for Jay Bruce. Instead they Reds took Dilson “my shoulder is broken” Herrera and a pitcher who had already blown out his elbow but didn’t tell anyone about it.

  16. AirborneJayJay

    MLBTR had a new The Latest on Nicholas Castellanos article and talking about what teams have impressed him so far. Nary a word on the Reds. Cubs, Giants and Rangers mentioned. The Reds seem the better fit however.

  17. Jim t

    I like how the off season has gone. The reds are definitely contenders for the playoffs. Pitching is solid to good with a chance to be very good and offensively if some of the youngsters step forward we will score enough runs. Senzel, Winker,Ervin and AA all have had moments. If two of them find some consistency we will score some runs. Also I think Galvis will surprise some folks. He is a 20-25 home run guy in our park. If he does that and provides good defense I’ll take it.

    We are making the post season this year write it down!!!

    • sixpack

      IF bell does the r/, stats say everyone does better and stays rested and ready.