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Andrew Miller was the sixth player chosen by the Detroit Tigers in 2006. Twenty-two days after he had signed, he was pitching at the highest level with the Tigers. He seemed to be ready at the time after being recognized by most scouts as the best collegiate pitcher coming out of the University of North Carolina. Five years later, Miller has not even been the best pitcher on his own college team at the MLB level (his current teammate Daniel Bard has been more valuable as a set-up man). Yet Miller is only 26, and could be finding his way with his third team.

Miller began this season at Triple-A where he was essentially an insurance policy. There was no way that he could supplant Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Josh Beckett, John Lackey, or Daisuke Matsuzaka given the resumes and salaries of the Red Sox front five, but as the saying goes, “you can never have enough pitching.” Matsuzaka is out for the season and perhaps his Red Sox career. Lackey has missed action and continues to be very inconsistent. Buchholz is currently on the 15-day DL. Tim Wakefield (the number six starter at the beginning of the season) was not the only player the Red Sox have had to call upon.

Insert Miller who was making his second start of the season yesterday. Much like Cameron Maybin, Miller can shake his name from being in the same category as Miguel Cabrera – the player he was traded to the Marlins for back in December of 2007. Miller came into this season knowing he would have to pitch extremely well in Triple-A in order to be promoted. In all but one of his previous seasons he was promoted before June 1st and he never really had a chance to develop at the minor league level. This year was different, and so far the minor league seasoning seems to have helped. Miller gave up only 2 home runs and held opponents to a .181 batting average against in over 65 innings.

In his two starts Miller has given the Red Sox a chance to win. He didn’t give up a run through the first five innings in his first start against San Diego before yielding a couple runs and yesterday against the Pirates he had an official quality start. Does this mean that he can be a long term answer in fantasy leagues? Absolutely not. In fact, once Buchholz returns the Red Sox may decide to move him to the bullpen. Miller held lefty opponents in the minors to a .122 average and has been stingy in the small MLB sample size he has had this season. Given that the Red Sox don’t really have a lefty specialist with the loss of Rich Hill and the lack of effectiveness from Hideki Okajima, Miller could be the perfect solution for the pen once Buchholz returns to the rotation. In the short term can Miller help? Absolutely.

  • It’s been a hard luck season for Pablo Sandoval. Sandoval was trying to advance to third on a grounder to the right side of the infield on Sunday and had to leave the game with quad tightness. Sandoval has already missed more than a month of action.
  • Dustin Pedroia stole his 15th base yesterday and has only been caught twice this season. Now that he is finally starting to hit with consistency  (currently riding an 11-game hitting streak) he looks like he will be the top second baseman in the second half.
  • Julio Teherhan in the month of June for Triple-A Gwinett: 36 IP, 31 K, 2 BB, 1.00 ERA
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4 Responses to Daily Notes | Can Andrew Miller Help?

  1. Pefacommish says:

    I was at the Giant game yesterday. Batting left handed he crushed the ball in all three at bats. He looked totally grooved.

    This is unlike his batting on Thursday, when batting right handed, he was swinging at balls over his head and in the dirt. He may strictly be a guy to play against righties.

  2. Pefacommish says:

    Sorry, I was talking about Pablo Sandoval above.

  3. Schruender says:

    Nice observation Pefacommish. Versus lefties he has a .630 OPS and against righties he has a .803 OPS.

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