After missing the 2020 season, St. Louis Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas is a ‘full-go’ to start Spring Training this week.
After getting his first bullpen session out of the way Thursday, Mikolas reportedly felt good and ready for a full spring workload. John Mozeliak, the St. Louis Cardinals President of Baseball Operations, later told MLB.com’s Zachary Silver he expected Mikolas to be a ‘full-go’ for spring.
Mikolas missed the 2020 season after surgery on his right flexor tendon in late July. This surgery is meant to improve the range of motion in the fingers and thumb.
This surgery came after being the club’s workhorse in 2018-19. In 2018, he went 18-4 with a 2.83 ERA in 200.1 innings pitched and was 9-14 during 2019 where he threw 184 innings with a 4.16 ERA. He gave up 27 homers in 2019 compared to 16 in 2018.
It’s safe to say he needed the break and the surgery to repair any lingering issues in the hand.
Mikolas is beginning year two of his four-year deal with the club worth $68 million.
ZiPS appears to take coming off the surgery very much into consideration when predicting how Mikolas will perform in 2021. He’s projected to start 26 games, go 9-8 on the year throwing 151 innings, with a 3.99 ERA. ZiPS projects he will strike out 121 batters as well.
If the 2020 season taught the Cardinals anything, it’s important to have durable pitchers who can go for several innings. In his five-year Major League Baseball career and his three seasons with the Yomiuri Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan, he has proven to be that dependable go-to-guy. He has 476 innings just in the Major Leagues, per FanGraphs.
Here’s hoping Mikolas returns to his innings-eating form on the mound. The Cardinals will absolutely need that arm the deeper the team goes into 2021.