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Miller impresses veteran Astros


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HOUSTON -- Right now, the results may not be there for Andrew Miller, but his raw talents certainly are evident.


The 22-year-old Marlins left-hander was tagged with his second loss in as many decisions on Saturday night. He gave up five runs in five innings to the Astros, but he showed some signs of finding his groove.


The damage for Miller came in the first two innings, as he gave up all five runs -- with four coming in two-out situations. What was promising is the fact he regrouped, had his slider working and got through five innings.


A first-round pick of the Tigers in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, the 6-foot-6 Miller has the makings of being a big-time winner in the big leagues. Houston All-Star Lance Berkman, who homered off Miller, sees tremendous upside in the young lefty.


"Well, he's got great stuff, there's no doubt," Berkman said. "But he's a young guy, and he's just learning. He will get better. When you see a lefty that has that kind of raw ability, it might take him a little bit to put it all together. I don't think Randy Johnson was great at first with Seattle. Everybody said that he had great stuff, but needed to learn how to pitch. Then all of a sudden he learns how to pitch and he's a perennial Cy Young candidate and one of the greats in the game."


Berkman was pretty straight forward in assessing Miller.


"I faced both [Johnson and Miller], and I think this guy has similar stuff," the Astros' first baseman said. "They are built the same. They throw hard and have got good sliders. But he just needs to get a feel for pitching. When he gets a good feel for his offspeed stuff, I don't want to have to face him."


Miller's velocity was in the mid-90s on Saturday, and he got solid results with his slider.


"All those hits were fastballs that were up," Miller said. "I think one of the doubles might have been off a slider that was down in his swing path. But I definitely felt like it was a swing-and-miss pitch. I just have to make sure I have it every night."


Astros catcher Brad Ausmus sees a future star in Miller.


"He's got a real good fastball, he's tall and he's got a good angle on hitters with his delivery," Ausmus said. "He's a young pitcher, so certainly there will be some mistakes. He's got a very bright future."


Marlins veteran Luis Gonzalez, a former teammate of Johnson, notes that Miller is going through an adjustment period, partly because he formerly was in the American League. Another bonus for Miller is catcher Mike Rabelo knows him, since they were together in Detroit.


"The thing that helps is he has Rabelo here," Gonzalez said. "He's kind of a security blanket for him. He worked with him a little bit last year. [Miller is] young. He's got a live arm. It's kind of a learning process." As for comparisons to Johnson, Gonzalez said: "It's kind of early to tell. In the early years for Randy, he was high miles-per-hour velocity, but [he had] control problems. Miller has got a little bit more of an idea when he reaches back and throws it. He also can get the ball to 96 mph when he wants to. Once he gets consistency on his fastball, he's going to be more difficult."



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You know, at this point in the season, I'm hard-pressed to point out anything negitive in the media regarding this team. Most opponents have praised our play, and cited that we are a lot better than the rest of the league that has yet to get a taste probably thinks.


If the starting pitching can get on track, we are dangerous. Badenhop is a step in the right direction IMO, considering our problems with Miller/VandenHurk are control and pitch count. Badenhop certainly has no problem throwing strikes, and he definitely has a MLB arm. This is the same reason I believe it won't be too long before you see Chris Volstad's family in the crowd at DS every fifth day. He throws strikes like his life depends on it, and his stuff and poise are definitely there.

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