- David Schoenfield, SweetSpot blogger
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A look at some of the candidates to start the All-Star Game for the National League:
Umm ... if you get the idea there is a lot of run prevention going on in the National League from starting pitchers, you are correct; we didn't even mention Clayton Kershaw, Cole Hamels, Madison Bumgarner, Lance Lynn and others.
Anyway, Dickey and Cain are probably the favorites right now, but I want to focus on Diamondbacks rookie Miley, who is certainly the most surprising name on the list considering he didn't even start the year in the rotation. In his last four starts, he's allowed one run each outing while pitching at least seven innings. And note that even though he didn't draw his first start until April 23 when he replaced Josh Collmenter in the rotation, he's still pitched more innings than Strasburg or Gonzalez.
His key pitch over that four-game stretch has been his slider, which ESPN Stats & Information reports has generated 32 outs against right-handed batters and just one hit allowed. For the entire season, right-handers are hitting just .203 off him.
Another note: Unlike Dickey or Cain, Miley pitches in a tough park; impressively his ERA at home is 2.33. Does he deserve to start? Probably not. It's just 12 starts and we certainly want to see more from him before we say he's turned into a legitimate ace. While he throws strikes, his K rate isn't in the category of most elite pitchers and he's allowed just four home runs, a rate which will be difficult to keep up.
And with the more-hyped rookie Trevor Bauer making his major league debut on Thursday, maybe the D-backs will have a one-two punch in their rotation ... just not the two everyone expected.