The 2015 Innings Pie Chart
Why a 200 inning man is worth something.
Hernandez 201.666
Walker 169.666
Iwakuma 129.666
Elias 115.3333
Happ 108.6666
Montgomery 90
Nuno 74.666
Smith 70
Paxton 67
Wilhelmsen 62
Farquhar 51
Rodney 50.6666
Beimel 47.3333
Other 225.3333
Total 1462.997

Here are the inning totals for 2015.  Notice, the lack of workhorseness from pitchers not named Felix. 

In 2015, the league average OPS against for pitchers was .723. 

The only guys who beat that were Felix, Iwakuma, Walker and Paxton for the rotation, and Furbush, Smith, Zych, Kensing and Wilhelmsen for the bullpen.  The good relievers only pitched 161.333 innings.  The good starters only pitched 568 innings.  That makes 729.333 innings of above average pitching for the Mariners.  This left 734 innings of below average pitching.  Smith pitched the best of any Mariners player.  11.8 K/9 vs. 2.8 bb/9.  2.32 ERA over 70 glorious innings.  This is only slightly worse than the year Craig Kimbrel had. 

The new guy, Wade Miley, is a proven 200 inning man.  He as a .732 lifetime OPS against, despite playing in hitters parks in Arizona and Boston.  His lifetime ERA+ is 101.  This guy is metronome league average. 

The value of him is 1. that you take the 200 innings that he pitches, and erase vidal Nuno and J.A. Happ from the roster.  Nuno was a meatball, and Happ was okay, and  2. The bullpen gets a rest on days that he pitches, which means that you have fewer flameouts like Danny Farquhar and Fernando Rodney.  The 2015 Mariners bullpen was definitely overtaxed.  The 2015 Mariners bullpen was definitely bad.  Baseball guys say the two are correlated.  If there is no proven player behind Felix, the Mariners are set up for failure again. 

Miley is a good pitcher.  I don't know if he is good enough to give up a league minimum 12k man Carson Smith for, but he is a good pitcher.  The Mariners needed someone like him.  There is a case to be made that he is much better than Roenis Elias, but there is no way that Smith will not be missed.  At least we still have Furbush. 



Vidal Nuno's ERA by inning as a mariner:

first inning: 8.10

2nd: 2.45

3rd: 2.25

4th: 7.71

5th: 5.73

6th: 0.0

7th: 1.04

8th: 2.08

9th: 3.38

He came to us with a 1.88 ERA with Arizona. So...I think if we keep him from spot starting and use him in middle relief, we got a pitcher here. Asking him to pitch 4-5 innings as a starter...not so good.


I see the point, and in retrospect next July or August we may all be subscribers, but IMO it is misleading to categorize Elias as a 115 IP pitcher.

What we are talking about here is the delta between Elias and Miley. We definitly did not gain 85 IP. MAYBE we gained 50, maybe only 30.


Though in fairness, we've got to allow for the 20% chance that Elias goes awry in 2016 and earns a demotion to AAA.  Wade Miley ain't going to have mechanical problems and slide back into AAA.

The delta between Elias and Miley isn't $7.5M for me, and the extra 3 years of club control isn't to be sneezed at.  Especially when DiPoto shuns the FA market precisely because of his bent to build the talent pyramid.

But for 2016, if it's Win Now And I Mean Right This Second, Miley is for choice.


Somebody puh-leeze explain to me, though, why Roenis Elias is the "throwin" on this deal.  Why not Montgomery or a prospect?  Elias was your clear #6 starter for 2016 and you always need 8 starters.


This thread is about Wade Miley's value.  :- )  That value is considerable, and if your Game Plan is to play sound, professional baseball it's even higher.

From that paradigm you can certainly argue that Miley's value is higher than Iwakuma's.

OBF's picture

This WHOLE offseason has been about turning "Could Be's" into "Are's"  Elias COULD BE a #3...  maybe...  Miley IS

And as a Fandom which has watched so many "Can't Miss" prospects...  miss, you would think we would be rejoicing :)


Elias pitched 61 innings in Tacoma last year.  He definitely can handle the workload.  But. . .  Elias was absolutely shelled in Tacoma with an ERA north of 7.  Why is this?  Don't know, wasn't there.

He could have been working on something, or playing behind a worse defense, or maybe just slogging through his innings because he was in AAA.  Who knows?  James Paxton didn't do well in Tacoma either.  We know what the deal is with Paxton though.  No one has confidence to chase any of his pitches outside of the zone. 

Elias has overexposure, makeup and youth concerns that preclude him from being a 1-5 starter.  I can see the Miley trade. 

We've been burned by Miley Workhorse types before.  See Jarrod Washburn, Jared Weaver, Joe Saunders.  Those guys came to Seattle with the same rep, and stunk it up in the spacious park. 

I'm reserving judgment on this issue, but in principle, don't see anything wrong with the trade.  Carson Smith OTOH. . .  That stings a lot.

OBF's picture

I am not sure why Washburn gets such a bad wrap round these parts...  He pitched well enough for the Mariners (2 years slightly below average 2 years above), and was even traded at the end of his run for a couple pulls at the prospect deck...  The problem with him was we signed him up when he was old and going down his age swoon, but we signed him like he was 28...  Hmmmm...  sure seems like we just AVOIDED that with a guy named Kuma...  just saying...

The other two guys (Weaver and Saunders) were garbage pail, throw it at the wall and hope it sticks acquisitions the whole way...  I wouldn't compare Miley to them at all...


The problem...of that what we gain i the rotation in terms of good innings from that pie...we lose in the bullpen.  Unless, of course, Vidal Nuno turns into a useful dominant reliever for us and dDipoto's plan to run a shorter pen depth chart full of guys who can throw 80-90 innings works out well.  Scribner, Bass, Aro, Nuno, Montgomery...all guys whose main value for us would be the ability to go 2-3 innings.

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