Monday, May 15, 2017
The Man Who Made Middle Relief Cool.
In 2008, when the Tigers decided to take a chance on a young, charismatic infielder named Miguel Cabrera, they must have thought twice before giving up their pitching phenom prospect Andrew Miller. If they had held onto him in 2008, he would have been up there with Justin Verlander, Jeremy Bonderman and Nate Robertson, and maybe he would have gotten something out of it.
Instead, they included him in the trade to Miami, along with Cameron Maybin. If they had known then, like...if the Tigers' GM invested in a soothsayer or something, and that soothsayer had told them that Andrew Miller would one day become one of the most powerful setup men in baseball, maybe it wouldn't be so. Maybe he would have traded Clete Thomas or somebody else instead. If they had known then...maybe Jose Valverde would have been out of a job earlier than we got.
Right now, Andrew Miller is the single best middle-reliever in baseball. He has one job, to work the eighth, and he's arguably doing it better than the guy who works the ninth. And this is a guy who helped the Indians reach the playoffs simply by force of will, by not letting anyone even THINK about scoring in the eighth.
The Indians may have a slightly depleted roster this year, but they still have Andrew Miller, and they still have the bulk of the pitching staff he supplanted. For right now, I think they're gonna be alright.
Coming Tomorrow- Entering his tenth season of consistent baseball, and doing it for a surprisingly hot roster.