Miley keeps it simple in strong first start

Miley keeps it simple in strong first start

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The first start of the spring for D-backs left-hander Wade Miley went pretty much according to plan.

Stretched out to four innings against the Giants, Miley allowed a run on five hits with a walk and a strikeout while throwing 61 pitches.

"I felt good today," Miley said after the D-backs dropped a 5-3 decision Sunday. "I still have some things to work on, but everything went well."

Miley suffered a sophomore slump in 2013 after going 16-11 and nearly winning the National League Rookie of the Year Award in '12. Miley lost the award by only seven points to Bryce Harper of the Nationals, 112-105.

But last year, Miley slumped to 10-10 with a 3.55 ERA in 33 starts, although he had a much better second half of the season, with four of the 10 wins and a 2.93 ERA, as opposed to a 4.01 ERA in the first half.

"Wade is an example of a guy who takes the mound and starts overthinking a little bit," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "He lost who Wade was and he struggled. Wade's a guy who gets the ball, gets on the mound, trusts his catcher and throws the ball. Like everything about this level of the game, it gets pretty specialized. There could be too much information. Last year, Wade got caught up in things that weren't really applicable to him. That slowed him down a little bit until he got back on track."

This spring, Miley said he's going back to the basics: Get the ball and throw the ball.

"That's my mentality," Miley said. "I'm not going to change speeds and take something off whatever I'm throwing. My mentality it to let it rip and see what happens."

Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.