If things had worked out differently, Wade Miley‘s Tropicana Field debut could have been an entirely different story. The Diamondbacks left-hander was originally selected by the Rays in the 20th round of the 2005 MLB Draft out of Loranger High School in Louisiana as the Rays hoped to get him to forego a commitment to Southeastern Lousiana University. They were unsuccessful and Miley became a supplemental first round pick by the Diamondbacks three years later. Miley was a vintage upside pick by the Rays, coming on late in the draft process with a mid-90’s fastball and a sharp slider, but Miley elected not to sign and he certainly can’t complain about how things have turned out. Miley is 7-8 with a 3.86 ERA in 21 starts and 186.1 innings pitched this season.
Selected by the Rays 16 rounds before Miley in that 2005 draft was Jeremy Hellickson out of Hoover High School in Des Moines, Iowa. Flash forward eight years and Hellickson has a distinction he’d rather not have: in the last two weeks, he’s the only Rays starting pitcher to not throw a complete game. It’s an awfully tough standard to live up to and the quiet Hellickson often sticks out in crowds, but Hellickson could be due for his first complete game since September 4th, 2011. Hellickson has been dominant in his last seven starts, going 6-0 with a 2.09 ERA ad a 37-12 strikeout to walk ratio in 43 innings pitched, tossing at least 6 innings in every start but one. And possibly inspired by David Price, Hellickson is being much more efficient with his pitches, throwing over 100 pitches just twice in the seven-start span. Add in the fact that Hellickson has battled through iffy stuff his last two starts to pitch well, and it seems everything like Hellickson is due. Will this be the start? We will have to watch and see tonight whether the Rays game ends with all the Rays starting pitchers doing a chest bump once again.