January 28, 2021

Wade Miley’s Cutter Should Be a Lot Better (FanGraphs)


Veteran southpaw Wade Miley recently signed a two-year deal with the pitching-minded Cincinnati Reds. Last year with the Houston Astros, Miley posted his highest WAR since 2015, which should come as little surprise since he was under the guidance of one of the best pitching coaches in baseball, Brent Strom, though he ended the year on a sour note. While he’s likely in the twilight of his career, the 33-year-old will once again be working with another elite pitching coach, Derek Johnson. What kind of production might the Reds see from Miley in 2020? While I’m sure the folks in Great American Ballpark have their ideas, I see a basic change to his favored pitch, the cutter, which could help Miley in the long run.

Miley generally works with four pitches: a backspin cutter (his main pitch), a circle change, a four-seamer, and a lightly used curveball.

Notice anything in the above GIF? A quick inspection of the arm-slot pause shows a decent amount of release point variation between Miley’s cutter (and, to a lesser extent, his four-seamer) compared to his changeup and curve. Since Miley’s cutter usage is on the rise, we’ll focus on that pitch and, for the sake of…

Read “Wade Miley’s Cutter Should Be a Lot Better” at FanGraphs