Miles Mikolas
Mikolas with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2018
St. Louis Cardinals – No. 39
Born: (1988-08-23) August 23, 1988 (age 35)
Jupiter, Florida, U.S.
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Professional debut
MLB: May 5, 2012, for the San Diego Padres
NPB: April 8, 2015, for the Yomiuri Giants
MLB statistics
(through June 27, 2024)
Win–loss record60–60
Earned run average4.06
NPB statistics
(through 2017 season)
Win–loss record33–13
Earned run average2.18
Career highlights and awards
Men's baseball
Representing  United States
World Baseball Classic
Silver medal – second place 2023 Miami Team

Miles Tice Mikolas (MY-koh-lahs; born August 23, 1988), is an American professional baseball pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball (MLB). He has previously played in MLB for the San Diego Padres and Texas Rangers, and in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) for the Yomiuri Giants. He was an All-Star in 2018, led the National League in wins that season, and finished sixth in NL Cy Young Award voting that year. He was also an All-Star in 2022.

Amateur career

Mikolas pitched for Jupiter Community High School in Palm Beach County, Florida, from which he graduated in 2006.[1] He then attended Nova Southeastern University and played college baseball for the Nova Southeastern Sharks.[2] In 2009, his junior year, he went 7–2 with a 2.06 ERA in 11 starts.

Professional career

San Diego Padres

The San Diego Padres selected Mikolas in the seventh round of the 2009 Major League Baseball draft.[3]

Mikolas pitched as a reliever for the Class-A Fort Wayne TinCaps in 2010, and was 6–3 with 13 saves (2nd in the Midwest League) and posted a 2.20 earned run average (ERA) in 60 games (leading the league).[4] He was named a Midwest League All Star.[5]

He began 2011 with the High-A Lake Elsinore Storm and, after going 3–0 with 12 saves (4th in the California League) and a 1.13 ERA in 34 games,[4] was promoted to the Double-A San Antonio Missions on July 4.[6] Mikolas finished out 2011 by going 1–0 with nine saves and compiling a 1.67 ERA as a reliever for the Missions over 28 games.[4]

Mikolas received a non-roster invitation to spring training in 2012. He was assigned to the minor league camp later in the spring, and started the year with San Antonio.[7] Mikolas was called up to the majors for the first time directly from Double-A San Antonio on May 5, 2012.[8] He made his debut at Petco Park against the Miami Marlins, for whom he grew up rooting.[1] The first batter he faced, Giancarlo Stanton, hit a home run.[9] Mikolas was sent down to the Triple-A Tucson Padres on June 5, after making 13 appearances and allowing five earned runs in 1323 innings. He was recalled on July 5,[10] and made two more appearances before being optioned back to Triple-A. He was recalled from Tucson again on August 5,[11] and stayed with the big league club through the rest of the year. For the season, Mikolas was 2–1 and amassed a 3.62 ERA and 23 strikeouts versus 15 walks over 3213 innings.[12]

In 2013 with Tucson, he was 4–2 with a 3.25 ERA, and 26 saves (3rd in the Pacific Coast League).[13] He pitched 1+23 scoreless innings for the Padres. Mikolas was designated for assignment by the Padres on November 20, 2013.

Texas Rangers

Mikolas with the Rangers in 2014

The Padres traded Mikolas to the Pittsburgh Pirates, along with Jaff Decker, for Alex Dickerson after the 2013 season.[14][15] During that offseason, the Pirates traded him to the Texas Rangers in exchange for Chris McGuiness.[16] He began the 2014 season with the Round Rock Express.

Mikolas was called up to the Rangers' 25-man roster on July 1, 2014.[17] In 44+23 innings pitched prior to his promotion, he had a 5–1 win–loss record with a 3.22 ERA. Mikolas started his first career game against the Baltimore Orioles,[18] giving up three hits and three runs in 5+13 innings. He spent the remainder of the season with Texas, going 2–5 with a 6.44 ERA in ten starts.[12] The Rangers released Mikolas after the 2014 season.[19]

Yomiuri Giants

On November 25, 2014, Mikolas signed a one-year, US$700,000 deal with the Yomiuri Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball for the 2015 season.[20] In 2015, he was 13–3. After the season, the Giants re-signed him to a two-year deal.[21] In three seasons for Yomiuri, he pitched to a 31–13 record with a 2.18 ERA in 62 starts.[22]

St. Louis Cardinals

Mikolas signed a two-year, $15.5 million contract with the St. Louis Cardinals on December 5, 2017.[23] He won his debut with the Cardinals 8–4 on April 2, 2018, at Miller Park against the Milwaukee Brewers. While batting, he hit a two-run home run versus Zach Davies for his first major league hit. On the mound, he completed 5+23 innings, allowing three home runs and four runs total, while striking out five and walking none.[24]

Mikolas pitching for the Yomiuri Giants

Mikolas threw his first major league complete game, a shutout, on May 21, 2018, at Busch Stadium against the Kansas City Royals. He struck out nine, walked one, and gave up only four hits as the Cardinals defeated Kansas City 6–0.[25] Owning a 9–3 record, a 2.63 ERA, and a 1.03 WHIP, Mikolas was named to the 2018 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, his first All-Star selection.[26]

Mikolas finished his 2018 campaign with an 18–4 record (including a 10–0 record on the road), a league-leading .818 won-loss percentage, a 2.83 ERA (4th in the National League), 1.071 WHIP (5th), walking just 29 batters in 200+23 innings (6th), in 32 starts (9th).[12][27] His 18 wins tied with Jon Lester and Max Scherzer for the NL lead.[12] He led the majors with only 1.30 BB/9, and also led all major league pitchers in first-strike percentage (70.8%).[28][29] In addition, he had the highest zone percentage of all major league pitchers, with 48.0% of his pitches being in the strike zone.[30] On defense, he was second among NL pitchers in range factor per 9 innings (2.20), third in putouts (19), and fourth in assists (30).[12] He came in sixth in the voting for the 2018 NL Cy Young Award.[12]

On February 26, 2019, Mikolas and the Cardinals agreed on a four-year extension worth $68 million.[31] He finished the 2019 regular season with a 9–14 record and a 4.16 ERA, striking out 144 over 184 innings. He was named St. Louis' Game 1 starter for the 2019 National League Division Series.[32] He missed the entire 2020 season due to undergoing surgery to repair a flexor tendon in his right arm.[33]

On August 20, 2021, Mikolas was activated off of the 60-day injured list after missing the past 75 games with a right forearm strain.[34]

Mikolas threw 8+23 no-hit innings in a game on June 14, 2022, against the Pittsburgh Pirates. With two strikes in the count to the next batter, Cal Mitchell, Mikolas allowed a ground-rule double.[35] Mikolas was named to the 2022 Major League Baseball All-Star Game after replacing Corbin Burnes.[36]

On March 24, 2023, Mikolas agreed to a two-year, $40 million contract extension with the Cardinals.[37] Despite a regression in his performance, Mikolas became the first pitcher to start 35 games in a season since Jhoulys Chacín in 2018.[38] He finished the season with a 4.78 ERA and only walked 39 hitters in 201.1 innings.[12]

Personal life

Mikolas is married to Lauren Mikolas, who was an elementary school teacher, UFC ring girl, and certified wellness coach who became a social media celebrity in Japan with her lifestyle blog.[39][40] Their first child, a daughter, was born in March 2017,[41] and his wife gave birth to twins, a son and a daughter, in July 2018.[42]

Mikolas got the nickname "Lizard King" when, on a bet, he ate a lizard in the bullpen during a 2011 Arizona Fall League game. The video was posted to YouTube.[43]

See also


  1. ^ a b Capozzi, Joe (May 7, 2012). "'Great feeling' for Padres pitcher Mikolas, a Jupiter High grad, to make debut vs. Marlins". The Palm Beach Post. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  2. ^ "These former DII baseball standouts are heading to the 2018 MLB All Star Game". July 16, 2018. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  3. ^ Stats (May 10, 2018). "Many Miles later, Cardinals' Mikolas faces Padres". Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c Miles Mikolas Minor, Fall & Japanese Leagues Statistics & History |
  5. ^ Miles Mikolas Stats, Highlights, Bio | Stats | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball
  6. ^ Center, Bill (July 4, 2011). "Daily Update: Darnell, Brach, Gyorko, Mikolas promoted". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  7. ^ Center, Bill (March 25, 2012). "Padres Report: Five sent to minor league camp". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  8. ^ Baer, Bill (May 5, 2012). "Huston Street to go on disabled list with shoulder strain". Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  9. ^ "'Great feeling' for Padres pitcher Miles Mikolas, a Jupiter High grad, to make debut vs. Marlins". Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  10. ^ Brock, Corey (July 5, 2012). "Padres recall Mikolas to bolster bullpen". Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  11. ^ "Padres recall RHP Miles Mikolas from Triple-A". Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g Miles Mikolas Stats |
  13. ^ Pacific Coast League 2013 Pitching Leaders | Stats | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball
  14. ^ Baer, Bill (November 25, 2013). "Pirates acquire Jaff Decker from Padres, designate Garrett Jones for assignment – HardballTalk". Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  15. ^ "First pitch: The return of Miles Mikolas". The San Diego Union-Tribune. May 11, 2018. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  16. ^ "Texas Rangers: Texas Rangers trade 1B Chris McGuiness for Pirates P Miles Mikolas | SportsDay". Archived from the original on November 12, 2014. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  17. ^ "Texas Rangers designate Joe Saunders for assignment, insert Miles Mikolas into starting rotation | Dallas Morning News". Archived from the original on July 6, 2014. Retrieved July 1, 2014.
  18. ^ "Miles Mikolas To Make First Major League Start - Nova Southeastern University". Nova Southeastern University. July 2, 2014. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  19. ^ Kepner, Tyler (July 7, 2018). "Miles Mikolas Took a Wild Journey to the Cardinals Rotation". The New York Times. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  20. ^ "Giants acquire pitchers Poreda, Mikolas". November 25, 2014. Retrieved August 14, 2018 – via Japan Times Online.
  21. ^ "Miles Mikolas drawining MLB interest after NPB stint". November 28, 2017. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  22. ^ "Miles Mikolas, 31–13 in Japan, joins St. Louis Cardinals". December 5, 2017. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  23. ^ Langosch, Jenifer (December 5, 2017). "Cardinals sign Mikolas to 2-year contract". Retrieved December 5, 2017.
  24. ^ Wagner, Andrew (April 2, 2018). "Mikolas homers, pitches Cardinals over Brewers". Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  25. ^ "Mikolas puts up nine zeros against Royals". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. May 22, 2018. Retrieved May 22, 2018.
  26. ^ Trezza, Joe (May 24, 2018). "Miles Mikolas named National League All-Star | St. Louis Cardinals". Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  27. ^ MLB - For a few hours, Miles Mikolas kept St. Louis Cardinals' postseason hopes alive
  28. ^ Major League Leaderboards » 2016 » Pitchers » Plate Discipline Statistics | FanGraphs Baseball
  29. ^ Major League Leaderboards » 2018 » Pitchers » Dashboard | FanGraphs Baseball
  30. ^ Major League Leaderboards » 2018 » Pitchers » Plate Discipline Statistics | FanGraphs Baseball
  31. ^ "Cardinals, ace Mikolas agree on 4-year extension". February 26, 2019.
  32. ^ "Keuchel, Mikolas get calls for Game 1 of NLDS". October 2, 2019.
  33. ^ "Mikolas needs surgery, out for rest of season".
  34. ^ "Cardinals activate Mikolas from injured list; Ryan Helsley to 10-day IL with right elbow injury".
  35. ^ "Mitchell spoils Mikolas' no-hit bid with 2-out double in 9th".
  36. ^ Denton, John (July 17, 2022). "Miles Mikolas added to NL All-Star Game roster". Retrieved July 29, 2022.
  37. ^ "Mikolas, Cards agree to two-year extension". Retrieved March 23, 2023.
  38. ^ "Games Started Year-by-Year Leaders by Baseball Almanac". Retrieved May 31, 2024.
  39. ^ "U.S. baseball player joins Tokyo's Yomiuri Giants, but it's his wife that's getting the attention". RocketNews24. June 16, 2015. Retrieved July 4, 2015.
  40. ^ "How a teacher from Jupiter became a celebrity in Japan". Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  41. ^ Trezza, Joe (May 24, 2018). "Miles Mikolas to miss 2018 All-Star Game | St. Louis Cardinals". Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  42. ^ FOX Sports Midwest (July 18, 2018). "Cardinals place Mikolas on paternity leave, recall Bowman from Triple-A". FOX Sports. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  43. ^ "Padres add heat to mix with reliever Miles Mikolas, the legendary Lizard King of the San Diego bullpen". MLBlogs Network. mlbblogger. May 8, 2012. Retrieved February 27, 2013.