Way Too Early Player Evaluations: Miles Mikolas

I thought I’d take a look at how some of our off-season acquisitions have started the season, starting with our (sort of) Japanese import Miles Mikolas.

So far Mikolas has had two starts, both against the same opponent, the Milwaukee Brewers. One start was home and one was up north in Milwaukee.

The stat lines from the two starts actually seem very similar. He went 5.2 innings in the first start, 6.1 in the second, with four runs allowed in each game. Mikolas struck out 5 in both games and didn’t give up a walk in either performance. He also gave up a similar amount of hits: seven in the first, eight in the second.

The only real difference between the two games was that he gave up three homers in the first game and none in the second. I’m going to say, until proven otherwise, that the three homers were simply first start jitters. The man hadn’t pitched in the majors in a few years and had a new contract to justify after all.

Added together, Mikolas currently sports a 6.00 ERA with a 1.250 with a neutral WAR.

Noe this is admittedly a small sample size and he’ll likely settle down as the season goes on, but let’s play this out: Mikolas makes 7.750,000 a year for 2 years under his contract. Is that fair value for a starter with a 5.00+ ERA, neutral WAR and a slightly above average WHIP? Probably not.

However, last year, we had a starter with a 5.00+ ERA and a 1.50 WHIP who made a much larger salary (19,500,000) in Adam Wainwright, who had a 4.62 ERA in 2016, meaning his stats last year may not have been a fluke, whether there injuries involved or not. Wainwright is slated to make the same salary this year too. In addition, Waino got hammered in his first start this year. Regardless of whether he was rushed back for the home opener or not, an ugly start is an ugly start.

By that token, Mikolas is a bargain.

Now, things may reverse themselves and Waino becomes the Waino of old (seems unlikely) while Mikolas stays who he is, but right now, based on that admittedly narrow comparison, Mikolas is a bargain.

As always, thanks for reading.

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Last updated: 10/06/2022