It was just over a year ago that the St. Louis Cardinals announced the free agent signing of pitcher Miles Mikolas. At the time, there were questions of how his success in Japan would translate to MLB. After an All-Star season in in which he lead the team with 18 wins, 32 starts, and 200.2 innings pitched the question now is will a contract extension be worked out to keep him in St. Louis beyond 2019?
“If the numbers work out and my agents talk to them and they get something worked out and it’s a good deal, then it’s absolutely possible,” said Mikolas. “That’s kind of for the front office and my agents to work out.”
“If there’s going to be talks, I’m sure they’ll be at the Winter Meetings and then move forward. The good thing about being a player, all I really have to worry about is getting ready for the season and my agents take care of the rest.”
Besides the success on the field, Mikolas was also able to celebrate the arrival of twins. Their early arrival pre-empted his All-Star appearance, but the kids and wife Lauren all are doing well.
“I’m thankful for everything’s that happened and thankful that everybody is happy and healthy,” said Mikolas, who was enjoying a day in the park with his family during his interview. “It’s definitely one of those years you can look back and say ‘wow’ such a great year with so much going on, but being so blessed.”
Recently honored as the Sports Personality of the Year at the Jack Buck Awards, Mikolas will be recognized again in January at the St. Louis Baseball Writers’ Dinner. Along with Matt Carpenter, Miles is receiving the J.G. Taylor Spink Award as the St. Louis Baseball Co-Men of the Year. Mikolas was also voted by his teammates for The Daryl Kile Award.
An award winner last season, Tommy Pham responded on social media that Mikolas is also the pick to be the “best-dressed” at the event.
“The good thing is I got a month to get it ready, but I saw the tweet and the pressure’s on now,” Mikolas said. “I’m not going to have time to get a new suit, so it’s probably going to be one of the suits that guys maybe saw on the plane. I’ll do my best to maybe dress it up. I like to accessorize–tie clips, lapel pins, maybe a hat. It’s going to be cold in St. Louis, I might have time to get a nice hat. Maybe a top hat, who knows? Something to look sharp in. A top hat and a cane. Really dress it up and try to put a little bit of that Tommy Pham pizzazzle on it.”
“Just like during the season, the mustache kind of fades in and out,” Mikolas laughed. “It’s mostly an in-season look, but maybe I’ll have to grow one back out before spring as like a ‘practice’ mustache and then do my best to make sure I have it ready once the season starts.”
Even clean shaven, Mikolas feels his mojo remains intact.
“Whether it’s the mustache or maybe my hair, I think whatever needs to have the magic kind of has it,” he said. “I went beard, clean shaven, mustache–I like to mix it up. I get bored sometimes so just trying to keep it fresh.”
Speaking of new looks, it will be Paul Goldschmidt at first base when Mikolas takes the mound this year.
“I’m excited,” Mikolas said. “It’s one less guy that I’ve got to face over there in Arizona that you’ve got to worry about. But more importantly, he’s an incredible addition to the team. When you look at what he’s done at the plate and in the field the last couple of years, it’s just incredible. He’s about as automatic a .300/30-some odd home runs as it gets and plays a Gold Glove first base. I’ve heard from multiple people that he’s a real stand-up, nice guy and I’m excited to meet him and have him behind me and hit at the plate for us.”
In his career, Mikolas has allowed one hit but also has one strikeout to go with a pair of walks to Goldschmidt. His approach?
“I don’t want to give too much away, but he’s definitely a dangerous hitter,” Mikolas said. “If the situation calls for it, you kind of want to stay away from him. That’s probably why there’s a few walks in there, there were probably a couple of guys on base.”
photo credit: Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports, Bill Greenblatt/UPI, Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports