Home > Uncategorized > 40 Guys in 30 Days: Andrew Miller

40 Guys in 30 Days: Andrew Miller

It only took six seasons and nearly a hundred terrible outings as a starter for some team to think “Hey, maybe this hard-throwing lefty with shitty control and no secondary pitch could be a decent reliever!”

Andrew Miller
2012 stats: 38.1 IP, 47 K, 16 BB, 3 HR
3.29 ERA, 2.99 FIP, 3.13 xFIP; 0.8 fWAR, 0.7 bWAR
12 shutdowns, 4 meltdowns
2013 contract status: Arbitration (second time; $1.04 million in 2012)

As a tall lefty with a hard fastball and control issues, Andrew Miller’s been drawing comparisons to Randy Johnson for years. And, like just about every pitcher who’s drawn those comparisons, he hasn’t lived up to them. He hasn’t stopped walking guys. He hasn’t struck out more and more and more. In short, he hasn’t been good, or even close to good.

So, in one of their rare feats of intelligence, the Red Sox tried him as a reliever. And it worked. In 38 innings he’s struck out 47 and walked just 16, while only giving up three homers. More than a quarter of the batters he’s faced have gone down on strikes. Being a reliever has allowed him to abandon his terrible changeup and just throw fastballs and sliders. He’s gained two and a half miles an hour on his fastball, and more than four on his slider.

None of this is groundbreaking stuff, of course. Bad starters get converted into good relievers all the time. I’m just impressed that the Red Sox were smart enough to do it.

Next time: A failed starter who came to the Red Sox as a reliever and was good, then got converted back for some stupid reason. No, the other one.

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