Miley not getting caught up in big rookie season

Miley not getting caught up in big rookie season

Miley not getting caught up in big rookie season
SAN DIEGO -- D-backs starter Wade Miley is entering rarified rookie air as the season winds down. With his win Saturday, the 25-year-old now has 15 on the season, the second-most for a National League rookie since 1986. With one more win he'll tie the mark reached by Jason Jennings with the Rockies in 2002.

Certainly a season like this would exceed any rookie's expectations. But for Miley, being among the top starting pitchers in his first full season simply wasn't on the radar.

"I kind of expected to be in the bullpen, so I really didn't expect much," Miley said. "Just wanted to get in the clubhouse and not look back. I've always been a starter, I like doing it, so when I got an opportunity I didn't want to lose it."

That doesn't seem to be something Miley has to worry about anymore.

His 3.07 ERA is the best among all first-year hurlers who've started more than 18 games. His 123 strikeouts are fourth among big league rookies, and these numbers have many throwing Miley's name into the mix for National League Rookie of the Year.

But the southpaw isn't really concerned about that.

"It's whatever. I don't put too much thought on that stuff," Miley said. "If it happens, it happens. If not, I'm going to wake up the next morning and do whatever. It's not going to break my heart or anything."

Miley came up for a stretch with the D-backs at the end of last season, going 4-2 with a 4.50 ERA in eight games (seven starts) after making his Major League debut Aug. 20. That stretch, he believes, was a big part of his ability to succeed this year, as was getting off to a hot start.

"Last year when I first got up I was a little starstruck -- like light in your eyes a little bit," Miley said. "I just didn't feel as comfortable as I feel now, I guess. And then, after having some success early [this year], I just got in a rhythm, built a good relationship with the catchers, and it helps out a lot."