The Cubs have re-signed 30 year-old starter Wade Miller to a one-year deal. $1.5MM is guaranteed and Miller has the potential to reach $5.25MM with incentives.
Miller looked like an ace in the making after winning 16 games for the 2001 Astros as a 24 year-old. However, he hasn’t topped 200 innings since. He finally had labrum surgery in October of 2005 after tossing 91 innings for the Red Sox.
In 2006, Miller earned a million bucks to pitch 21 innings for the Cubs. After he signed, Miller said it was the best he’d felt in years and was targeting a May or June Cubs debut. He was slowed down by fatigue along the way in rehab, though, and his fastball was coming in around 85-88. He finally pitched the Cubs in September. His velocity was around 88-90.
Back in the day (2001) Miller threw around 92-94, touching 97 at times. He was worked very hard by Larry Dierker, though, and a cascade of injuries followed. Miller ranked 12th in Pitcher Abuse Points in ’01.
If he is to succeed as the Cubs’ fifth starter, he’s going to have to do so as a different type of pitcher due in no small part to Dierker. I’m not even sure Dierker tracked pitch counts back then.