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PeteAbe: Sox to insert Andrew Miller into rotation next week


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#1 czar


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Posted 14 June 2011 - 08:09 PM

A Major League source told the Globe tonight that the Red Sox are working on a plan to add Class AAA Pawtucket lefthander Andrew Miller to the rotation.

Miller has a clause in his minor-league contract that would allow him to declare free agency tomorrow if he is not promoted to the majors.

Miller has been one of the best pitchers in the International Leagues in recent weeks. In his last five starts, Miller has allowed seven earned runs over 30.1 innings with seven walks and 30 strikeouts.

Miller went 5.1 innings against Charlotte tonight, allowing one run on five hits with one walk and 10 strikeouts. He has a 2.47 earned run average this season.

According to the source, the Sox are planning to start Miller against the San Diego Padres next week and will create space in the rotation by shifting around the starts of John Lackey and Tim Wakefield. That would create essentially a six-man rotation.


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#2 TomRicardo


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Posted 14 June 2011 - 08:15 PM

Six Man Rotation?

Deep Breaths ... Deep Breaths. Come on Lackey INJURY!!!

#3 glennhoffmania


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Posted 14 June 2011 - 08:17 PM

Wait, what? I assumed this meant Wakefield was back in the pen and I didn't have to get annoyed every five days. Why are they doing this?

#4 TomRicardo


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Posted 14 June 2011 - 08:18 PM

Wait, what? I assumed this meant Wakefield was back in the pen and I didn't have to get annoyed every five days. Why are they doing this?


Theo hates SoSH.

#5 bosockboy


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Posted 14 June 2011 - 08:27 PM

My guess is Lackey is in pretty serious pain and they want Miller acclimated and ready when it happens.

#6 Rough Carrigan


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Posted 14 June 2011 - 08:31 PM

Why doesn't he simply take Hottovy's spot on the 25 man roster, though not just working as a LOOGY?

Edited by Rough Carrigan, 14 June 2011 - 08:32 PM.


#7 Carl Everetts Therapist


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Posted 14 June 2011 - 08:38 PM

Why doesn't he simply take Hottovy's spot on the 25 man roster, though not just working as a LOOGY?


Because he's stretched out and they want to see what they have in a guy with front of the rotation talent. It would be a crime to let him sign with another team when he seems to have figured some things out. Even if they plan on making a trade (Doubront or some other depth starter) for RF or SS help, he's a commodity that they just can't let get away for free. He's wasted in the pen. Now he can give Lackey and Wake (injury and old) some rest. It's a perfect solution, even if it's just a showcase.

#8 Quintanariffic

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 08:39 PM

My guess is Lackey is in pretty serious pain and they want Miller acclimated and ready when it happens.

Or that their hand was forced b/c Miller has a contractual opt out tomorrow and, given his recent performance, would almost certainly get picked up by another team.

#9 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 14 June 2011 - 08:42 PM

Now he can give Lackey and Wake (injury and old) some rest. It's a perfect solution, even if it's just a showcase.


If it's a 6-man, though, it means less starts for everyone, not just Lackey and Wakefield.

What about something really unconventional; where you rotate Wakefield and Miller in that slot? Wake starts one turn, Miller the next. Works in between starts when possible...probably a better use of a roster spot than a LOOGY.

#10 P'tucket, rhymes with...


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Posted 14 June 2011 - 08:46 PM

If it's a 6-man, though, it means less starts for everyone, not just Lackey and Wakefield.

What about something really unconventional; where you rotate Wakefield and Miller in that slot? Wake starts one turn, Miller the next. Works in between starts when possible...probably a better use of a roster spot than a LOOGY.


It would have to be something like you suggest, as there's NFW they're going with a six man over any significant period of time. Take the ball out of JFB, JFL, and CFB's hands? Throw everyone out of they're rhythm? Not happening.

Edited by P'tucket, rhymes with..., 14 June 2011 - 08:46 PM.


#11 Sprowl


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Posted 14 June 2011 - 08:54 PM

Six-man rotations never last for long, usually because one of the starters comes up with an owie. What are the chances that Buchholz's back, Beckett's oblique, Lackey's elbow or Wakefield's belly experiences a strain over the next two weeks, forcing a missed start? Pretty good, I'm thinking. Lester is the only one who looks indestructible right now, which probably means that he'll be the one to miss a start :rolleyes:

#12 yecul


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Posted 14 June 2011 - 09:03 PM

No brainer to do what needs to be done to hold onto him at this point. And I'd like to add how proud I am of myself for liking that pick-up this offseason.

#13 tonyarmasjr

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 09:14 PM

Six-man rotations never last for long, usually because one of the starters comes up with an owie. What are the chances that Buchholz's back, Beckett's oblique, Lackey's elbow or Wakefield's belly experiences a strain over the next two weeks, forcing a missed start? Pretty good, I'm thinking. Lester is the only one who looks indestructible right now, which probably means that he'll be the one to miss a start :rolleyes:


Maybe that's a good enough reason to go to a six-man for a week or two - give everybody some extra rest while they've all got some little issues. The bullpen's well rested, so having one less reliever shouldn't be an issue immediately (though when's Papelbon serving his suspension?). There are arms in Pawtucket (Morales, Oki, Atchison) that can be shuffled back and forth if need be. And you can always bump Wake back into the pen before his next start if you really need to. Also, does anyone want Lackey? He's overpaid and ugly.

#14 CaptainLaddie


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Posted 14 June 2011 - 09:32 PM

No brainer to do what needs to be done to hold onto him at this point. And I'd like to add how proud I am of myself for liking that pick-up this offseason.

How Va(i)n of you.

Edited by CaptainLaddie, 14 June 2011 - 09:32 PM.


#15 Clears Cleaver


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Posted 14 June 2011 - 09:40 PM

There is zero downside from this move. It's June, the Sox have the best record in the league, they are about to play one of the easiest stretches they have all season. Plus, any extra rest these guys can get is helpful. And it nmight be the only way to keep Lackey and Wake in the rotation all year...

Plus, we may learn that Miller is really the team's fourth (or better) best starter.

#16 gammoseditor


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Posted 14 June 2011 - 09:51 PM

Someone once posted on this board that Lester and Buchholz had almost identical innings totals as a pro before their breakout seasons, taking 2008 as Lesters breakout and 2010 as Clay's. Lester was at 628 innings and Clay was at 634.

Andrew Miller had only thrown 526 innings as a professional coming into this season. If you add in his minor league starts from this year he is at 592. Very excited to see what this kid can do.

#17 Nomar813


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Posted 14 June 2011 - 10:06 PM

Aside from how this will effect the rotation as a whole, this is just going to be exciting. There's no questioning Miller's talent and it's great that he has a chance to realize his potential in a Red Sox uniform. A 22/1 K/BB this month is just sick and a remarkable turnaround from his early season and last couple of years. Ideally I'd have preferred he get a little more time in AAA to see if he can maintain his control, but that's the contract and he's been beyond dominant lately.

#18 Rasputin


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Posted 14 June 2011 - 10:24 PM

I am extremely excited by this.

I assume that this is a short term thing to give folks a little extra rest in the middle of a long season. At some point soon someone is going to get hurt or start sucking and that may well be Miller.

But he is a talented guy and if he sticks we have an option for next year and I think he only has a couple years service time so we should have a couple arb years after that, right?

#19 LesterFan

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 10:49 PM

Andrew Miller quotes

"We all like to have fun playing baseball, but you look at it and it all boils down eventually to a business and money and whatnot. So there's that side of it and you've got to discuss it and figure out what's best for myself," he said.

"I don't know," said Miller when asked whether his next game would be for the Red Sox. "I got my agent in town and we'll probably talk about it tonight. It's a tough decision, but we'll see. I think things are certainly going in the right direction here and it would be a shame not to keep it going.

"I mean, they've treated me great here. The Red Sox, in general and in every aspect, have given me every opportunity and it's been first class and I don't have any complaints at all. It's a good place and a good fit for me."

"I'll start, I'll relieve, I'll play second base, it doesn't matter. If there's a spot in the big leagues, I want it. That's where everybody in this locker room wants to be. It's what we're all working towards."


Must say I'm pretty excited to watch him pitch. This could end up being a huge steal.

#20 Al Zarilla


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Posted 14 June 2011 - 10:57 PM

Andrew Miller quotes


"I'll start, I'll relieve, I'll play second base, it doesn't matter.


The hair just stood up on the back of Dustin Pedroia's neck. :lol:

#21 maufman


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Posted 14 June 2011 - 11:20 PM

I'm not as bullish on Miller as others here. He's 26 years old, and he hasn't had anything remotely like Lester's 2005 or Buchholz's 2007. (Those guys, obviously, were in their early 20s when they had those dominant minor-league seasons.) Yeah, he's 6-7 and looks like a stud, but he hasn't pitched like a stud since his college days.

Finding a way to work him in the rotation is probably the right decision for now, but I think his future lies in the bullpen.

#22 Sprowl


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Posted 14 June 2011 - 11:36 PM

I'm not as bullish on Miller as others here. He's 26 years old, and he hasn't had anything remotely like Lester's 2005 or Buchholz's 2007. (Those guys, obviously, were in their early 20s when they had those dominant minor-league seasons.) Yeah, he's 6-7 and looks like a stud, but he hasn't pitched like a stud since his college days.

Finding a way to work him in the rotation is probably the right decision for now, but I think his future lies in the bullpen.


Does he have reliever characteristics or platoon splits? I can't find any 2011 minor league splits for him, and his major league profile shows a reverse split in 2009 and 2010, so I don't think he can play the role of the traditional leftie reliever. He's big, but does he have mechanics that can be tamed as easily in relief situations? The change in Miller has been not to his stuff or his approach, but to his routine -- the mock inning in the bullpen before each start. Control has always been a problem for Miller, and that problem would be highlighted in relief. Everything about him screams starter to me.

#23 Jed Zeppelin


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Posted 14 June 2011 - 11:44 PM

Four starts ago Miller had 35k/32bb. Now he's at 61/35. He doesn't have anything close to a similar stretch as a starter at any time in his major league career, and you'd be hard-pressed to find these kinds of numbers in his minor league game logs. The closest I could find was a four game stretch in AA in 2007 when he had 24k/5bb after which he was called up to Detroit for the rest of the season.

Obviously, the key is maintaining what has been working for him since he's never sustained any kind of control in the majors. Unless I missed any, it appears that Miller has only had one major league start in which he didn't walk anybody. I remember being thrilled at the possibility of this guy slipping to the Sox in the draft because of contract demands so I'm excited as anybody but I won't go overboard until he comes to Boston and shows this isn't a mirage. We need to see with our own eyes that he won't revert to bad habits and get wild at the first sign of trouble and pressure.

While I still have my doubts given what his numbers looked like just a few weeks ago (and since 2006), I think the Red Sox absolutely should call him up and give him a fair shot at a rotation spot. They've got a 44 year old making starts, and Lackey has been mostly dreadful and might be pitching hurt. As rock solid as the top 3 is, the bottom 2 leaves plenty of room to take a chance on Miller.

Edited by Jed Zeppelin, 14 June 2011 - 11:50 PM.


#24 Quintanariffic

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 01:13 AM

Does he have reliever characteristics or platoon splits? I can't find any 2011 minor league splits for him, and his major league profile shows a reverse split in 2009 and 2010, so I don't think he can play the role of the traditional leftie reliever. He's big, but does he have mechanics that can be tamed as easily in relief situations? The change in Miller has been not to his stuff or his approach, but to his routine -- the mock inning in the bullpen before each start. Control has always been a problem for Miller, and that problem would be highlighted in relief. Everything about him screams starter to me.


Sprowl -

Try this page for 2011 splits:

Miller 2011 ml Splits

Worst comes to worst, it does indicate that he has a regular platoon split this year, so maybe there's a LOOGY possibility. LHH are batting .122 against him vs. RHH at .209. I'd take either. :buddy: Regardless, noting the fact that he has 3 major league quality pitches and has the ability to carry velocity deep into games, you have to give him a shot as a starter. When you further consider that, as a reliever, he won't have the luxury of repeating his current pre-game routine that is so clearly tied to his success, I"m not sure why you'd stick him in the pen.

Edited by Quintanariffic, 15 June 2011 - 01:14 AM.


#25 E5 Yaz


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Posted 15 June 2011 - 01:27 AM

I'm not as bullish on Miller as others here. He's 26 years old, and he hasn't had anything remotely like Lester's 2005 or Buchholz's 2007. (Those guys, obviously, were in their early 20s when they had those dominant minor-league seasons.) Yeah, he's 6-7 and looks like a stud, but he hasn't pitched like a stud since his college days.

Finding a way to work him in the rotation is probably the right decision for now, but I think his future lies in the bullpen.


I think it's the wrong road to go down to suggest because Miller won find success because his history has taken a different path than that of Lester and Buchholz. IF he finds it over the next year and a half, the age is irrelevant; he can be a mid-rotation type for a few years and be in his his early 30s.

I think we sometimes get tripped up by how long it takes for someone to come around. Miller has shown that the talent is there. IF it's harnessed it's a steal. If it's not, they'll be another project.

#26 Philip Jeff Frye


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Posted 15 June 2011 - 04:36 AM

I'm not as bullish on Miller as others here. He's 26 years old, and he hasn't had anything remotely like Lester's 2005 or Buchholz's 2007. (Those guys, obviously, were in their early 20s when they had those dominant minor-league seasons.) Yeah, he's 6-7 and looks like a stud, but he hasn't pitched like a stud since his college days.

Thanks for inserting some reality into this thread. He's a few months removed from a season that included a 8.54 ERA. Somebody said up thread that there's no downside to this move - his major league stats to date show a lot downside.

Young, cheap, talented players don't get dumped by the Florida Marlins for no reason. I'll be rooting for him, but there's plenty of reason to suspect that he will be the Jeremy Hermida of pitchers, not the David Ortiz.

Edited by Philip Jeff Frye, 15 June 2011 - 07:12 AM.


#27 LondonSox

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 05:20 AM

I'm not sure this is a done deal. By all accounts miller has been first class and looking to the long term not the short on this rehab style adventure.
He's said all along that the sox have been first class to him, and it's very likely another team could have offered a better deal than the one he signed with the sox.
His talent is huge, and the mechanics changes done post draft with him clearly didnt do him any good. We've seen the sox make this mistake as well.

Right now he's throwing mid 90s with a plus fastball and largely plus curve and left handed and cheap and young.
Bottom line you can't lose that so the likes of an old wake can keep pitching, ESP when you have injury concerns for wake, lackey and buchholz.
I think it's a bit too soon. If the sox can give him a new opt out in say early July, let him get 3-4 more starts and promise him if a starter goes down he's first up I think this is likely better for both sides. Miller could use another few starts to get even more comfortable with his new style (well old style but hey) in low pressure and ge is confidence up.

That said he has the right to demand more and if you can't start in AAA then the padres ain't far off it!

He's only really had 4 starts without the control issues, 3bb over 4 starts With 26k in those four starts. Those are some stellar numbers but it's four starts. The previous 5 starts he averaged 4 bb a start. There is a chance he's turned the corner and will immediately improve the rotation adding a lefty as well. If it's a choice of lose him or try it I say try it. If he blows up I would wager he'll want to try AAA with the sox again. If both sides can agree a 3 week extension to the opt out I think that's best but there is a solid chance he's ready now.

#28 OttoC


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Posted 15 June 2011 - 06:41 AM

What I gathered from reading comments attributed to him is that while he likes the Red Sox organization he wants to be in the majors and knows that he will be if he opts out of his contract with them. If the team wants to keep him, they will have to sweeten the pot. If they bring him, he has to stay because he's have to clear waivers before they could send him back down.

#29 SoxFanSince57


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Posted 15 June 2011 - 06:53 AM

According to Miller, pro pitching coaches messed with his delivery and his mechanics went to hell. It sounds like the Sox have tried to help him either return to his college delivery or find/learn mechanics that are repeatable. I hope that Miller and the Sox pitching coaches have been successful and we find that his results over his last four starts are attributable to mastering a repeatable delivery.

I wish there was some sort of buzz that Miller has worked our the kinks in his mechanics and he is demonstrating a nice repeatable delivery. I am a little concerned that I haven't read any "performance reviews" about his delivery. So like most here I am hoping that the control he has demonstrated over these last four starts are indicative of sound pitching mechanics. The SSS data is there, but no one is talking about why Miller has been getting these fabulous results.

If Miller has locked in a repeatable delivery, he will shine as a starter. If he hasn't, he won't be a starter or reliever in the major leagues IMO.

Edited by SoxFanSince57, 15 June 2011 - 06:54 AM.


#30 DanoooME


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Posted 15 June 2011 - 07:30 AM

Thanks for inserting some reality into this thread. He's a few months removed from a season that included a 8.54 ERA. Somebody said up thread that there's no downside to this move - his major league stats to date show a lot downside.


There's zero upside to Wakefield. He is what he is. There is potentially downside to Miller, but also plenty of upside if those last 4 starts show real progress. It's worth the gamble, especially at this time of the year and more especially since they've spent the time and effort to straighten him out. I'd hate to see him go elsewhere and apply what he's learned AGAINST the Sox.

#31 Lose Remerswaal


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Posted 15 June 2011 - 07:47 AM

So . . . if he looks this good in AAA, why risk him coming up to the bigs and turning back into a pumpkin? After seeing them let Wakefield throw 118 pitches last night (and adding 2 more K's to his efforts to catch Nolan Ryan), they don't seem concerned about Tim in the rotation. Can they trade a peak value (so far) Miller for something of value?

#32 sodenj5

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 08:08 AM

So . . . if he looks this good in AAA, why risk him coming up to the bigs and turning back into a pumpkin? After seeing them let Wakefield throw 118 pitches last night (and adding 2 more K's to his efforts to catch Nolan Ryan), they don't seem concerned about Tim in the rotation. Can they trade a peak value (so far) Miller for something of value?


At this point, they've spent the time and effort to get him back on track. If he's really turned the corner, and managed to re-harness what made him a first round pick, then his upside is huge. It's well worth the risk of bringing him up and him possibly getting shellacked to see if his progress is real. Worst case scenario is he reverts back to his prior form and the Sox lose a handful of games in June and are out a few dollars on another reclamation project. Best case scenario is he supplants Wake or Lackey in the rotation, and then the Sox have a FAR more valuable chip on their hands, should they decide to go that route.

#33 Red Averages


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Posted 15 June 2011 - 08:21 AM

At the end of the year we might look back on Dice-K's injury and equate it to Mo Lewis's hit on Drew Bledsoe.

Let the Andrew Miller era begin.

#34 Trlicek's Whip

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 08:25 AM

I'm not as bullish on Miller as others here. Yeah, he's 6-7 and looks like a stud, but he hasn't pitched like a stud since his college days.


He's big, but does he have mechanics that can be tamed as easily in relief situations? The change in Miller has been not to his stuff or his approach, but to his routine -- the mock inning in the bullpen before each start. Control has always been a problem for Miller.


Don't know a ton about him, but did see him pitch a few times with FLA the past three seasons. [One of those fluky "every time I catch the Marlins on television, this guy's pitching" circumstances.]

It sounds like the Sox have tried to help him either return to his college delivery or find/learn mechanics that are repeatable. I hope that Miller and the Sox pitching coaches have been successful and we find that his results over his last four starts are attributable to mastering a repeatable delivery. I wish there was some sort of buzz that Miller has worked our the kinks in his mechanics and he is demonstrating a nice repeatable delivery. I am a little concerned that I haven't read any "performance reviews" about his delivery. So like most here I am hoping that the control he has demonstrated over these last four starts are indicative of sound pitching mechanics. The SSS data is there, but no one is talking about why Miller has been getting these fabulous results.

If Miller has locked in a repeatable delivery, he will shine as a starter. If he hasn't, he won't be a starter or reliever in the major leagues IMO.


This, this, this.

He's never been able to repeat his mechanics for long stretches. I'm reminded of Daniel Cabrera in reverse - tall starter with glimmers of filthy, but unable to repeat or sustain that success in his windup. If there is no change in Miller's mechanics, then his control was and still can be a bugaboo. So his run of dominance in Pawtucket isn't a light-switch flipping, but a hot streak.

That said, keeping him with the organization by calling him up to start while the team is playing well, and providing a reason to give 2/5 of their rotation an extra day's rest while they see what they have, is win/win.

Edited by Trlicek's Whip, 15 June 2011 - 08:28 AM.


#35 Hendoo

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 08:39 AM

His highest percentage of walks has come in the first inning (12 in 9 IP), so before Miller’s last start, pitching coach Rich Sauveur suggested that he change his pre-game routine.
"We talked after his previous outing about how he felt so good in the 4th or 5th innings but his pitch count was already killed,” Sauveur said. “He’s had 3 or 4 outings like that. So he said that he’d like to have a higher pitch count and I said, ‘I can’t do that, but what we could do is try the routine of Clay Buchholz.’ Clay gets ready in the bullpen, sits down for 3 to 5 minutes, then he gets back up and pretty much throws an inning as if he’s in the game. So that’s what we did. Andrew got ready and then he threw an inning in the bullpen before taking the mound in the game. It looked good didn’t it?”


All the "success" has come since this change.

Miller Pre-game Routine changed

Edited by Hendoo, 15 June 2011 - 08:46 AM.


#36 Buzzkill Pauley


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Posted 15 June 2011 - 08:39 AM

So . . . if he looks this good in AAA, why risk him coming up to the bigs and turning back into a pumpkin? After seeing them let Wakefield throw 118 pitches last night (and adding 2 more K's to his efforts to catch Nolan Ryan), they don't seem concerned about Tim in the rotation. Can they trade a peak value (so far) Miller for something of value?


Unlike the situation with McKenry and the Pirate's catching situation, I don't see any club so desperate for an in-progress reclamation project pitcher such that Miller would bring back a player with higher upside and/or less risk to providing positive value to the MLB team.

The $3M poison pill may have to be put to the test if Miller's recent gains aren't sustainable. But based on what he's done the past three weeks, it's quite likely that he's the 4th or 5th best starting pitcher in the organization right now.

...or, Wakefield and Lackey could end up out-pitching him and he goes back to AAA, either in Pawtucket or elsewhere. In any event, he only cost Dustin Richardson.

#37 jacklamabe65


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Posted 15 June 2011 - 09:29 AM

When we signed him, my MFY friend who actually knows something about the game, called me and began to scream: "Why didn't we sign him? Watch him be a dominant lefty like Lester! Yankee fans will come and rue this day!"

From his lips to God's ears.

Edited by jacklamabe65, 15 June 2011 - 09:30 AM.


#38 Snodgrass'Muff


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Posted 15 June 2011 - 09:45 AM

I'm excited to see what he can do, but I'm also a bit worried. Despite his great run recently in Pawtucket, his BB/9 this year is still at 4.8. That means it was significantly higher a few weeks ago and that he has the capacity to be unbelievably wild. This isn't news to anyone here, though. But it does make me wonder if he's the pitching version of Wily Mo Pena*. He has the potential to be unbelievable. The raw talent is through the roof. But his weaknesses may prove too much to overcome and we may not get much more than occasional glimpses of what he might be.

The Sox have a hole in the rotation that they're looking to fill. So I absolutely agree with seeing what he's got while he's on an upswing. And I won't be surprised if he puts up a few really nice starts in the next couple of weeks. But there's a long way to go before he's a good pitcher.




*No, that wasn't a perfect analogy. It wasn't meant to be.

Edited by Snodgrass'Muff, 15 June 2011 - 09:46 AM.


#39 ScubaSteveAvery


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Posted 15 June 2011 - 09:51 AM

I'm confused by a lot of commenters in this thread voicing concern that for no reason at all Andrew Miller just turned it around. He made a substantive change to his pre-game warmup routine, based on statistical evidence that a bulk of his walks occurred in the first inning and observational evidence that he felt great in the 4th and 5th innings. Since that change, he has pitched great.

Yes, Miller has a poor track record of (lack of) success, and what he has done appears to be a SSS concern, but that is ignoring the change he's made in his approach. I would have liked to have seen a few more starts in Pawtucket, but given the limitations of his contract and the expertise of the Red Sox organization, I trust that they think this isn't some SSS anomaly.

#40 ItOnceWasMyLife

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 10:05 AM

So if Miller joins the team to start, who goes down? Hottovy is the only left-hander in the bullpen. It's got to be Bowden, right?

#41 mt8thsw9th


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Posted 15 June 2011 - 10:09 AM

When we signed him, my MFY friend who actually knows something about the game, called me and began to scream: "Why didn't we sign him? Watch him be a dominant lefty like Lester! Yankee fans will come and rue this day!"


Perhaps your friend who knows something about the game should know he was traded for and not signed as a FA. Did he also get perturbed when Jay Payton signed with the Red Sox?

#42 Joshv02

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 10:11 AM

Perhaps your friend who knows something about the game should know he was traded for and not signed as a FA. Did he also get perturbed when Jay Payton signed with the Red Sox?

Miller was traded for, non-tendered, then re-signed as a FA.

#43 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 15 June 2011 - 10:12 AM

The Red Sox traded for Miller, then non-tendered him, and then signed him to a minor league deal. I guess we really need to know when the phone call from the Yankee fan friend came to determine if he was right or wrong.

#44 P'tucket, rhymes with...


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Posted 15 June 2011 - 10:14 AM

I trust that they think this isn't some SSS anomaly.


It's far more likely that they simply don't know what they have on their hands, and his contract is forcing the issue. If there's one thing this organization doesn't do, it's push people up the ladder based on limited periods of success.

#45 StuckOnYouk

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 10:31 AM

I would imagine that even if Miller reverts back to form and starts walking people, it will be just like watching a typical Dice-K start right?

For what it's worth his opp avg in 21 minor league starts in 2010 was .273.
This year in 12 starts--not just including the last 4 starts where he's found his control-- it's .181.

You figure there's something going on where he's dominating AAA batters a lot more this year than last with or without control problems,no?

#46 gammoseditor


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Posted 15 June 2011 - 11:18 AM

I would imagine that even if Miller reverts back to form and starts walking people, it will be just like watching a typical Dice-K start right?

For what it's worth his opp avg in 21 minor league starts in 2010 was .273.
This year in 12 starts--not just including the last 4 starts where he's found his control-- it's .181.

You figure there's something going on where he's dominating AAA batters a lot more this year than last with or without control problems,no?


Part of that is going from the PCL to the IL, a much more pitcher friendly league.

#47 bowiac


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Posted 15 June 2011 - 11:42 AM

I'm confused by a lot of commenters in this thread voicing concern that for no reason at all Andrew Miller just turned it around. He made a substantive change to his pre-game warmup routine, based on statistical evidence that a bulk of his walks occurred in the first inning and observational evidence that he felt great in the 4th and 5th innings. Since that change, he has pitched great.

Yes, Miller has a poor track record of (lack of) success, and what he has done appears to be a SSS concern, but that is ignoring the change he's made in his approach. I would have liked to have seen a few more starts in Pawtucket, but given the limitations of his contract and the expertise of the Red Sox organization, I trust that they think this isn't some SSS anomaly.


Players always have some explanation for what's different when they're going through a hot stretch. If we had some reliable way of gauging all the changes that players made in pre-game warmups, pitching mechanics, etc... then we could run a study to see whether such changes are actually predictive. My instinct however is that such changes are mostly just noise however.

Every player is tinkering with something. When that tinkering lines up with favorable results, we go "eureka!", but that doesn't mean the two are related in any way. Players improve, and it's possible Andrew Miller has, but a good 30+ inning stretch isn't much evidence of it. It's very unlikely to me that the best way to deal with a small sample size this year is to cut it in half and only look at the most recent 30 innings.

I'd bet he's the same terrible pitcher he's been at the major league level he's always been personally.

#48 StuckOnYouk

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 11:43 AM

Part of that is going from the PCL to the IL, a much more pitcher friendly league.

Last year he got hammered in the AA---in the Southern League--2011 league avg .265/ops .739

Something's improved vastly from last year to this year regarding batters not hitting him when he's in the strike zone.

#49 bowiac


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Posted 15 June 2011 - 11:50 AM

Something's improved vastly from last year to this year regarding batters not hitting him when he's in the strike zone.


His BABIP? He was unlucky last year, and lucky this year?

#50 Joshv02

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 11:51 AM

Every player is tinkering with something. When that tinkering lines up with favorable results, we go "eureka!", but that doesn't mean the two are related in any way. Players improve, and it's possible Andrew Miller has, but a good 30+ inning stretch isn't much evidence of it. It's very unlikely to me that the best way to deal with a small sample size this year is to cut it in half and only look at the most recent 30 innings.

I generally agree. People like stories and we construct them after the fact.

I don't think there is any reason to reject the idea that a change in routine helped him pitch well, but the evidence to support it is pretty weak given the history of MLB and the number of times someone has a great story to explain a small sample fluke. My default position is to be skeptical, but to keep an open mind.