Were the Reds right to move on from Wade Miley?

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Wade Miley (22) pitches.
Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Wade Miley (22) pitches. / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Wade Miley was arguably the Cincinnati Reds best pitcher in 2021. Few will forget Miley's no-hitters, the Wade Miley Fan Club, and the efficient way the left-hander went about his business on the mound.

The Reds unceremoniously waived Miley shortly after the 2021 season rather than paying his buyout or picking up his $10M option. Miley was eventually snagged by the Chicago Cubs and is expected to be a key piece of he North Siders rotation this season.

However, Cubs manager David Ross announced on Friday that Miley had been dealing with a left elbow injury this spring and that the 35-year-old would begin the 2022 season on the Injured List. While Reds fans might not want to hear this, the Reds did the right thing by moving on from Wade Miley.

The Reds were right to move on from Wade Miley.

Now, before you fly off the handle, let me qualify that statement. The Cincinnati Reds did the right thing by moving on from Wade Miley. However, the timing was terrible, and receiving nothing in return was even worse. Furthermore, losing him to a division rival is beyond ridiculous.

But, let's really look at what Miley did during his Reds tenure. During the left-hander's first season in Cincinnati, Miley spent more time on the shelf than he did on the field. Miley appeared in six games with four starts and posted a 5.65 ERA over 14.1 innings of work. Miley struck out 12 batters and walked nine.

Last season, however, Miley was terrific, especially during the early part of the season. While Miley is not known as a power-pitcher, the crafty left-hander had opposing batters guessing and through the month of August, he had a 2.74 ERA and 112 punch outs over 144.2 innings of work.

But Miley really came off the rails during the final month of the season. In his four September starts, Wade Miley went just 18.1 innings, allowed 18 runs on 36 hits and had an ERA of 8.35. Ouch! No wonder Nick Krall claimed that no one had any trade interest in Miley.

This isn't the first time in recent memory that Miley ran out of gas down the stretch. In September of 2019 during his run with the Houston Astros, Miley went just 11.1 innings in five starts and posted a 16.68 ERA. Prior to that Miley was 13-4 in 28 starts and owned a 3.06 ERA.

Again, I believe the Cincinnati Reds made a grievous error in allowing Wade Miley to walk for nothing. The club should have picked up Miley's $10M option and found a taker once the MLB lockout was over.

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But, moving on from both Miley and Sonny Gray will allow the young prospects like Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo to blossom without being blocked by an aging veteran on a one-year contract. Graham Ashcraft and Brandon Williamson are coming up through the farm system as well. The Reds have a lot of young, talented pitchers, and it's time to see what they can do.