Andrew Miller had another hellacious outing for Pawtucket today. The southpaw went 1.1 innings, walking four and striking out 3. Of Miller’s 50 pitches, only 20 were strikes. Miller has been extremely inconsistent in his 6 rehab appearances for the Red Sox. In six minor league games on his rehab assignment, Miller has allowed four runs on four hits in six innings with nine walks and 12 strikeouts. As his walks and strikeout numbers indicate he is either lights out or all over the place. Consistency has been a problem for Miller during his entire MLB career. He has never been able to be the pitcher he was at UNC and on Cape Cod.
For the record, I am a huge Andrew Miller fan. I first saw Andrew Miller in 2005 while he was pitching for the Chatham A’s (now Anglers) of the Cape Cod Baseball League. I don’t remember who won or lost the game but I remember all the scouts behind hope plate drooling after he threw one 97mph fastball after another. In a summer league that featured Tim Lincecum and Daniel Bard, Miller, was named the College Summer Player of the Year by Baseball America and rated as the No. 1 prospect in the Cape League. Miller was also dominating the competition at UNC. Miller set the Carolina single season (133) and career strikeout records (325). He was also third in Tar Heels’ history with 27 wins and fourth in total innings pitched with 309. He was named Baseball America National Player of the Year and Roger Clemens Award winner as the nation’s top collegiate pitcher. He was also named to the first team All-America for Collegiate Baseball, Baseball America, NCBWA and Rivals.com. His success lead him to be drafted number 6 overall by the Detroit Tigers in the 2006 draft. He really hasn’t done much since. Miller was traded to the Marlins in the Miguel Cabrera deal and then dealt the Sox for reliever Dustin Richardson. I was euphoric when this happened. At 26 Miller is still young enough to turn his career around. Bobby V has said that he thinks scouts and coaches has tried to hard to change his windup. He has recommended he go back to his old mechanics that made him so successful at UNC. Hey, if it aint broke then don’t fix it. IF, and it is a big IF, the Sox can get Miller to harness his control they will have one of the best lefties in the game. Until then Miller is just another prospect that never reached his potential. I remain hopeful that he will turn things around and that the Richardson for Miller deal will go down as one of the biggest steals in baseball history.