Miles Mikolas was easily one of the biggest surprises of the 2018 season in Major League Baseball. The Starter had pitched three straight seasons in Japan, to great success. He was a combined 31-13 in Japan with a 2.18 ERA. With such good numbers, a trip back to the Major Leagues was inevitable, and he soon signed a two-year deal worth $15.5M with the St. Louis Cardinals.
His entrance to the Cardinals wasn’t received too well by the fan base. Most fans wanted the Cardinals to go after higher profile players, not a cheap starter from Japan. But Mikolas quickly got the attention of not just Cardinals fans, but baseball fans.
Mikolas had a spectacular 2018 season for the Cardinals, going 18-3 with a 2.83 ERA over 200.2 innings. He was easily the most consistent starter for the Cardinals, and he will most likely receive votes in the Cy Young Voting. Mikolas has also been named a finalist for the NL Comeback Player of the Year along with Matt Kemp of the Atlanta Braves, and Clay Buchholz of the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was the NL Leader in walk rate with 1.3 BB/9. He was the only starting pitcher in baseball with more starts than walks.
So that begs the question… Should the Cardinals offer an extension to the 30 year old?
I am of the mindset that this year was not a fluke for Mikolas. He actually got stronger down the stretch, having a strong September where he was 5-0 with a 2.14 ERA. He was incredibly efficient, not allowing many walks, and being able to get out of innings quickly.
Does this type of performance warrant an extension? I sure think so. Mikolas was among league leaders for a multitude of different categories this past season. If the Cardinals decided not to pull the trigger on an extension, they sure could use 2019 to gauge his value going into free agency. If his 2019 season is anything like his 2018 season, Mikolas could warrant himself a big payday. It might be in the Cardinals interest to lock him up for a few more seasons. Take a look at some of his best moments in 2018.
I hope the Cardinals can give Mikolas an extension. He was fantastic in 2018 and I expect his success to continue this season.
Thanks for reading!