You might not remember new St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Miles Mikolas after his brief stint in the majors a few years ago, but it's going to be tough to forget him now.
The 30-year-old was drafted in the Drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 7th round of the 2009 MLB June Amateur Draft, and last pitched for the Texas Rangers in 2014. He signed with Yomiuri in 2015 and found immediate success, posting a 1.92 ERA in 21 starts during his first season in Japan.
Mikolas sports a 4-6 record with a 5.32 ERA in three major league seasons with the San Diego Padres and Rangers.
It also lands Mikolas in one of the places most likely to move the fantasy baseball needle. For the Cardinals to add a potential innings eater to the rotation allows them to continue floating pitchers like Michael Wacha, Jack Flaherty, Sandy Alcantara, and potentially others, in trade talks as they seek the addition of an impact bat this offseason. Mikolas was then released by Texas that same year. "On Instagram, Wong referred to himself as "The Pebble" and Fowler suggested on Twitter that Stanton "#comeflexwithdex".
We'll note here that the video could be considered disturbing. He walked 34 and struck out 62 in 91 1/3 innings. He had just introduced the slider during that 2014 season, so it's possible that his three years in Japan have helped him gain some polish to it. The 4.1 percent walk rate he had during those three seasons combined hint to that, and they are a lot closer to his rates during his minor-league time in the Padres' system. Mikolas, 29, is returning from Japan, agreeing to a $15.5 million, two-year contract with the Cardinals.
"We feel he is a player who benefited from the opportunity to pitch and be challenged at a high level in Japan", Slater said.
Assuming Mikolas does make the starting five - the odds are greater that he will than won't - he could provide back-of-a-mixed-staff value for a dirt-cheap price.
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