Last season, Wade Miley surprised everyone by winning 16 games while posting an ERA of 3.33.
He was an All-Star, and finished second in the NL Rookie of the Year voting.
Entrenched in the team’s starting rotation to begin this season, the 26-year-old left-hander has struggled mightily.
Miley is 3-5 with an ERA of 5.01 in 11 starts. He’s allowed 66 hits and 23 walks in 64.2 innings of work, and he finished the month of May — which was a disaster in and of itself — by allowing seven runs in a loss to the Chicago Cubs.
The pitcher’s struggles and some comments from D-backs manager Kirk Gibson led some to speculate that his spot in the starting rotation may be in jeopardy, but the skipper told Arizona Sports 620’s Burns and Gambo Tuesday that is not the case.
“I just want to see him have some belief in himself,” Gibson said when asked if he really needs to see something out of Miley soon. “He was a different guy after he gave up seven runs, and that part’s frustrating.
“Wade, it’s not like if he doesn’t throw the ball well he’s out of the rotation, no, that was not what I was intimating at all.”
However, Gibson did say his pitcher “does have to throw the ball better,” and said Miley needs to make sure not to let the struggles baseball will deal you get to you and keep you down.
“It will get you mentally, and when it does you have to tough your way through it and you have to stop being over-analytical,” he said. “You have to fight your way through it and believe in yourself.”
Gibson, who is in his third full season as the team’s manager, said Miley started to do that at the tail end of his start in Chicago and is capable of pitching that way for an entire game.
“He gets it, it’s all just part of growing up,” Gibson said, noting Miley only has 47 Major League starts to his name and that he still has much to learn. “They’re not fun lessons, by any means, but it’s part of it and I feel like he’ll rebound.”