By R.J. Anderson //
Andrew Miller’s career has been anything but picturesque. When Detroit nabbed Miller in the top 10 of the 2006 draft, he appeared to be an integral part of the future. Left-handed starters with the arsenal Miller displayed don’t come around too often, so it was understandable when the Marlins demanded the Tigers build a package around Miller and Cameron Maybin before they would part with Miguel Cabrera.
Miller’s time with the Marlins wasn’t pretty. He walked more a batter every other inning and while the strikeout totals were impressive, it’s hard to escape jam after jam when you continue to give away bases. Eventually, the Marlins, sensing Miller was hopeless, spun him to Boston for another pitcher, Dustin Richardson. Miller has since spent his career in Triple-A, working on improving what ails his control. The common theory is that he nibbles too much, thus running up his pitch count and leading to the walks. Supposedly a new pre-game preparation has Miller becoming more aggressive early in the game.
Whatever the reasons for a recent stretch of strong performances are, Miller finally found himself back in the majors earlier this week. With Clay Buchholz on the disabled list, Miller was called upon to take his rotation spot. His first start, against the Padres, concluded after 5 2/3 innings pitched, he walked three, struck out six, and allowed three earned runs on seven hits (including a home run).
It wasn’t the prettiest start, as the Padres offense tends to be hapless, but with Miller’s next few starts also scheduled against National League teams, he could be worth picking up. Even if he struggles, Boston’s offense could net him a win or two. And, should everything go right in Miller’s development, he could provide above-average contributions the rest of the way.
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