When Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Wade Miley was warming up for his start against the Los Angeles Dodgers last Sunday, he felt the same strain in his neck that he had pitched in recent weeks.
Looking back, Miley said he probably should have stopped warming up. Instead, he crossed it and allowed six runs in three innings. Even afterwards, Miley tried to keep going and he threw a paddock on Friday in hopes of being able to make his scheduled start on Monday.
Miley wanted the pinch of pain near her collarbone to go away, but the Reds put him on the injured list on Saturday. This season, Miley made 28 starts and had one of the best seasons of her career, posting a 3.37 ERA.
“It was done a bit slowly, it just gradually got worse,” Miley said. “Every time I started, I wasn’t recovering, I wasn’t bouncing… I can’t be efficient like that. I’m not just hurting myself, I’m hurting the team. I’m not going to give us a chance to win by going out like this.
At the start of the season, Miley had set a goal of making 30 starts. In 2019, Miley almost had a career year but fell in September due to a leg problem. In 2020, Miley made just four starts as he was injured for most of the season.
Then in 2021, Miley had one of the lowest 10 ERAs among MLB qualified pitchers for most of the second half of the season. He pitched his first career scoreless game, led the Reds to a win over the Milwaukee Brewers with eight scoreless innings and tied for the team lead with 12 wins.
“I felt like I came into spring training in better physical shape and then we continued to create a routine – something that I hadn’t really stuck with throughout my career.” , Miley said. “Even during the All-Star hiatus and the months after, I felt really strong.”
Miley, 34, had an 8.35 ERA in her last four starts. This is the same situation he went through before the Reds signed him in 2019, as an injury resulted in a bad September that boosted his ERA.
The Reds have a squad option for Miley for the 2022 season, and Miley has said he would like to stay in Cincinnati until he retires.
“Obviously it’s a business,” Miley said. “I’ve been on seven different teams so I understand how it works. But we love it here. We absolutely love it in Cincinnati.
Ahead of the 2020 season, Miley signed a two-year contract with the Reds with a team option for 2022. This offseason, Miley is the only starting pitcher for the Reds who could hit free agency.
Miley had her own fan club in Cincinnati, and he said he hoped he could give those fans a postseason streak with the Reds in 2022.
“I don’t want anything more than to stay with the guys at this clubhouse again and see if (we) can get over last month’s struggle,” Miley said. “(I want to) give the team a chance to play baseball in the playoffs again and give this city a chance to build on and enjoy it.”
VOTTO SCRATCHED: In extra innings on Friday, Reds first baseman Joey Votto made a scoring defensive play where he jumped to first base to record the strength. On the play, Votto twisted his knee.
Votto was dropped from the starting lineup on Saturday, and he was not to start on Sunday. Votto said he would be healthy enough to strike on Sunday, and he expects to return this season.
TO CALL: With Miley on the injured list, the Reds have promoted left-handed reliever Cinel Pérez. He started the year on the Reds Opening Day roster, but struggled with command and spent most of the year in Triple-A.
In Saturday’s win, Pérez pitched a scoreless inning with one strikeout. As the Reds pitchers grapple with fatigue and injury in the final week of the season, the Reds have made it a priority to maintain a deeper enclosure.