Wade Miley

Morning Fort: Wade Miley ready to 'get into the swing of things' in Red Sox rotation

Mike Petraglia
February 20, 2015 - 6:15 am

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Wade Miley is hoping to go back to the future with the Red Sox. Just three years ago with the Diamondbacks, the lefty hurler, selected in the first round of the 2008 MLB Draft, finished behind only Bryce Harper for National League Rookie of the Year. He was named the National League Rookie of the Month for April 2012, pitching 3'€“0 with a 1.29 ERA, striking out 15 in 21 innings in two starts. Miley took a no-hitter into the 6th inning of a start against Miami. He was also named a NL All-Star in his rookie season after beginning the 2012 season with a 9-5 record with a 3.04 ERA. Miley won 16 games for the Diamondbacks in 29 starts in 2012 with a 3.33 ERA in 194.2 innings, which also included three relief appearances. But in 2013, Miley took a step back from his strong rookie season, managing just 10 wins in 33 starts, despite pitching over 200 innings. Last year, Miley made another 33 starts but fell to 8-12 with a 4.34 ERA. For Miley, this offseason has been filled with anticipation, knowing that a fresh start could mean better results. "You get that adrenaline when you come to spring training," Miley said Friday morning. "It's a long season but those four months get pretty long too and you get excited to get back after it. I'm definitely looking forward to it." The Red Sox are banking on Miley turning around a two-year slump. For that reason they acquired the 28-year-old left-hander from Arizona on Dec. 12 for pitchers Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster and infielder Raymel Flores. Then, on Feb. 5, 2015, Miley and the Red Sox agreed on a three-year $19.25 million dollar contract extension. Clearly with a commitment of nearly $20 million, the Red Sox are projecting Miley as part of their starting rotation for this season, and the next two in Boston. But Miley still has that sense he is competing for a job in the rotation. "It's very important," Miley said. "You have to come out and be prepared and do your best in spring training and hope for the best." Miley throws four main pitches with an occasional fifth. The main four are four-seam fastball and two-seam fastballs (ranging 88 to 92 MPH), a slider (79'€“82 MPH), and a changeup to right-handed hitters (80'€“81). He occasionally throws a curve in the mid-to-upper 70s, mostly against right-handers. Miley joins a rotation that has Clay Buchholz and Rick Porcello at the top, with Joe Kelly, Justin Masterson also in the mix. "Just trying to slowly get into the swing of things and be ready to face hitters when the time comes," Miley said. "Definitely looking forward to it. Obviously, there's a history here in Boston and what they did this offseason, going out and getting the guys they got. It's definitely exciting to be a part of it." Reporting day: Friday's clubhouse here was fairly subdued as pitchers and catchers officially made their way inside for their complete physicals and 1-on-1 interviews with manager John Farrell. The first day of workouts is Saturday, with the first full-squad workout for all players set for Wednesday. Holding court: Shane Victorino is out to prove a point this spring, as Rob Bradford pointed out earlier in the week. On Friday, he was holding court with several reporters around a table in the middle of the clubhouse, speaking on various and random subjects. Bulked up: Hanley Ramirez has come a long way from his days as a Red Sox rookie/prospect in 2005. Specifically, Ramirez looks more like a strong safety than the projected starting left fielder. He has arrived in Fort Myers appearing in excellent shape, especially up top around his shoulders. Ramirez is listed at 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds, about 30 pounds more than he carried to camp in '05. Ramirez, a lifetime .300 hitter, is now considered a power hitter and someone the Red Sox are counting on for middle-of-the-order production.