This is the second of a three-part interview I did with Arizona Diamondback starting pitcher Wade Miley
Me: Your strike outs are up this year, yet so are your home runs allowed. Do you think those two are related?
WM: “No, not at all. My strikeouts are up because I am getting some good tilt on the ball. My home runs are happening because sometimes I am having a hard time locating my pitches.”
Me: The Diamondbacks have designated for assignment two pitchers recently. What has that done to the moral of the team?
WM: “It is no secret that we are struggling this year. It sucks to see anyone go. When I first came up to the big leagues J.J. (Putz) kind of took me under his wing. But, at the same time it is a business and tough decisions have to be made.”
Me: I read a quote recently from fellow starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy who said despite his numbers, he does not know what he is doing wrong. As a fan and a person who has never met Brandon, I want him to join the other two pitchers who have been designated for assignment as well. What would you say to myself and those fans like me?
WM: “I am defiantly going to defend Brandon here. First of all most people kind of forget that this game is hard. Brandon works extremely hard at his craft in fact he works his tail off everyday. And it is not like he is terrible, he is only having one bad inning for the most part. But, sometimes no matter how hard we try, when we struggle it gets in our heads and it messes with our confidence.
My opinion: I certainly respect that Wade is defending his teammate Brandon, I would expect nothing else from him. But, I must say he was adamant about it. But, as a fan, Brandon does not have good numbers this year, in fact he does not have good numbers as a Diamondback with a record of 7-21. This year he has lost 10 games while winning only 2. He has given up more home runs so far this year than he did all of last year, and he has his highest ERA in his major league career at 5.11. Before I would dismiss him (designate him for assignment) I would try him in the bullpen. If you dig deeper into his stats he does well the first time through the line-up, and he has been bitten by the one bad inning. But, I would give him a limited number of relief appearances, and if he does not improve, I would have to cut him.