Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 2/21/13
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- After a rookie season that saw Diamondbacks starting pitcher Wade Miley win 16 games, make the All-Star team and finish second in National League Rookie of the Year voting, it might seem natural he'd come to spring training this year with a little swagger. Save a little seniority in the clubhouse, that has not been the case. Instead, Miley showed up for camp hoping to build on his success in 2012 but determined not to let it affect how he approaches the new season. "You've got to avoid that," Miley said. "You've got to put that stuff behind you. Whether it's good or bad, you've got to forget about it and move forward. "What I told everybody is that I'm trying to come into camp thinking exactly the way I did last year -- not with a spot or anything like that, still have to work hard and prove yourself." Sounds like a solid method for avoiding a sophomore slump. Contributing to Miley's grounded perspective on his job security is the surprising path he took during a season that left him just seven votes behind Washington's Bryce Harper for the NL Rookie of the Year award. At the outset of spring training 2012, Miley wasn't even on the radar. The D-backs had their 25-man roster pretty much set, and Miley was so certain he'd start the year in Triple-A Reno that he'd already packed his car for the drive. Two days before the end of camp, he got word he'd be at Chase Field on Opening Day. Veteran reliever Takashi Saito had strained a calf and would start the season on the disabled list, so Miley had a spot in the bullpen, though manager Kirk Gibson insists Miley was going to make the roster anyway. Miley got the chance to start when Daniel Hudson got hurt, and he won his first two starts, giving up just one run over the two games. "I think what last year does is it gives him confidence -- he knows he belongs, he knows he can do it," Gibson said. Miley -- who finished the year 16-11 with a 3.33 ERA -- confirmed that he does take confidence from knowing he can get major league hitters out on a daily basis but said he doesn't allow himself to stand pat. "You may have gotten guys out last year or in the past, but they're going to figure you out eventually," Miley said. "You've got to continue to add things to your repertoire or get better." It's with that attitude that Miley is working this spring as he tries to maintain command and improve his little-used curveball. Gibson says there is more Miley must improve, including his pickoff move, fielding, ability to hold runners and hitting. "He needs to continue to develop and get better in all aspects of his game," Gibson said. "It's hard to duplicate (his 2012 results), so Id like to see him stay healthy and just continue to try to develop as a total player." The D-backs would certainly benefit if the 26-year-old Miley can duplicate those results, but he wants to do more than that. He said he and Gibson have not sat down to discuss what's expected this year, but Gibson expressed what he'd liked to see earlier this week. "About 230 innings, World Series included," Gibson said. "You'd like to see 1,000 innings out of your starters. He's certainly part of that." Gibson clearly plans on Miley being a big part of a starting rotation that also includes Ian Kennedy, Trevor Cahill, Brandon McCarthy and a yet-to-be-decided fifth starter. Miley does too, although he's maintaining an anything-can-happen mentality. If he is indeed able to avoid the trap of comparing this season's results to last year's and continues on the upward trajectory he's established, he could be in for an even bigger year.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Family of deceased Kyle Field construction worker awarded $53 million by jury

Chris Bosh to miss All-Star Game with calf injury, Al Horford to replace

NBA commissioner Adam Silver supports bringing sports betting in to the light

Mets pitcher Jenrry Mejia becomes first player ever banned by MLB for PEDs

Eight bold predictions for NBA All-Star Weekend

Iowa athletics department under federal civil rights investigation


2016 Naismith Hall of Fame finalists announced

Hasselbeck ‘strongly leaning towards playing’ in 18th season

Pitchers to wear new protective headwear in spring training

Klay Thompson: Warriors will shoot for all-time wins record

Bryce Harper 'squashed' beef with Jonathan Papelbon

WWE has record revenue despite perceived troubles

Cardiff City owner tells team to shoot more, because ugly men can marry beautiful women

Report: American Pharoah will make $35 million as stud in 2016

City hosts Tottenham in Valentine’s Day clash

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Is there a place for Aaron Hill with the Brewers?

The market for forwards may shape the NHL trade deadline

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

The most intriguing NBA story lines for the rest of the season

Report: Timberwolves ‘lament’ Andrew Wiggins missing weight-lifting sessions

Kevin Durant to the Warriors makes little sense

City of Atlanta, Braves fighting over iconic Hank Aaron statue

Brock Osweiler hopes to remain part of ‘very special’ Broncos

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker