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Andrew Miller headed to AFL


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Miller headed to Arizona Fall League

Rangy left-hander to work out kinks after rough '09 with Marlins

 

10/12/09 11:23 AM ET

 

MIAMI -- Relying so heavily on youth, the Marlins understand the importance of patience.

 

Not every player is a finished product when they take the field for the first time. Granted, the organization has been spoiled when it has seen immediate success out of players like Hanley Ramirez and Josh Johnson.

 

In the case of Andrew Miller, the 24-year-old continues to go through some growing pains.

 

Still, the organization sees a tremendously gifted player who is looking to put it all together.

 

The 6-foot-7 former first-round Draft pick is coming off a rough season. He dealt with a demotion to Triple-A New Orleans in July, and then a Minor League disabled list stint due to a right ankle injury. When he returned to the roster, he was used in a relief role.

 

Miller finished 3-5 with a 4.84 ERA in 20 games, with 14 of them starts.

 

In hopes of getting Miller on track, the Marlins have sent the lefty to the Arizona Fall League, where he will pitch for the Mesa Solar Sox.

 

"I've been given a lot of opportunities. I haven't necessarily taken them and run with them yet," Miller said. "But I still think I'm young. I think I have plenty of time to hopefully keep working towards that goal."

 

When the Marlins acquired Miller from the Tigers in 2007, they were hopeful that he would be a top-of-the-rotation starter. In the blockbuster deal for Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis, the Marlins received Miller, outfielder Cameron Maybin, pitcher Burke Badenhop and three other prospects.

 

Thus far, Miller's first two years with the Marlins have been a struggle. He's a combined 9-15 with a 5.43 ERA in 49 games with 34 starts.

 

Miller opened 2009 as the Marlins' fifth starter, and he will be given a chance to win a rotation spot in Spring Training.

 

The history of the game is replete with examples of pitchers who took a while to put it all together.

 

Randy Johnson, who broke into the big leagues with the Montreal Expos in 1988, labored a couple of seasons and was dealt to Seattle. In 1990, at age 26, Johnson had his first breakthrough season, going 14-11 (3.65) in 33 starts.

 

Sandy Koufax was 25 when he broke out with an 18-13 season for the Dodgers in 1961.

 

Not to say Miller's career will at all mirror those of Johnson or Koufax, but they, too, took a while before experiencing consistent big league success.

 

Like the 6-foot-10 Johnson, Miller is a rangy left-hander who has dealt with command issues early in his career.

 

An objective in the Fall League is to get Miller some innings while having him refine his delivery.

 

"I think there are some mechanical problems that are hampering me from throwing pitches where I want to," Miller said. "It's just a process. You have to figure it out as you go."

 

Because he was optioned to the Minor Leagues in July, and spent time on the disabled list, he was limited to 80 innings at the big league level. For the Zephyrs, he made three starts and was 1-2 with a 7.71 ERA.

 

And his total Minor League innings, counting some rehab appearances, was 28 2/3. So, he finished 2009 with a total of 108 2/3 innings.

 

Miller also had limited work in 2008, finishing with 107 1/3 innings with the Marlins, plus another 19 1/3 innings in the Minor Leagues.

 

The Fall League will give him a chance to build up some innings.

 

"I haven't thrown that much in general," Miller said. "I've got some things that I'm working on mechanically. In general, my ultimate goal is to throw more strikes.

 

"It hasn't been easy. I don't think I expected it to be. It is what it is. You try to make the most of it, learn from it, and eventually figure it out.

 

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

 

I think this is a very good decision and will pay off big time! I think Miller will be in the rotation next season and will do what everyone has expected from him when we made that deal with the Tigers. Thoughts?

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That's great news. He needs to work year round to build up his confidence.

 

Does anyone have a schedule for his team? Any trips to Jupiter?

 

 

October (all times local unless noted)

13 @ Phoenix, 12:35 PM

14 vs. Phoenix, 6:35 PM

15 @ Surprise, 12:35 PM

16 vs. Surprise, 12:35 PM

17 vs. Peo Saguaros, 6:35 PM

19 vs. Peo Javelinas, 12:35 PM

20 @ Peo Javelinas, 12:35 PM

21 @ Scottsdale, 6:35 PM

22 vs. Scottsdale, 12:35 PM

23 @ Peo Saguaros, 12:35 PM

24 @ Surprise, 12:35 PM

26 @ Phoenix, 12:35 PM

27 @ Peo Saguaros, 12:35 PM

28 vs. Scottsdale, 12:35 PM

29 vs. Peo Javelinas, 12:35 PM

30 @ Scottsdale, 6:35 PM

31 vs. Phoenix, 12:35 PM

 

November (all times local unless noted)

2 vs. Peo Saguaros, 12:35 PM

3 @ Peo Saguaros, 12:35 PM

4 @ Peo Javelinas, 12:35 PM

5 vs. Peo Javelinas, 12:35 PM

6 @ Surprise, 12:35 PM

9 vs. Scottsdale, 12:35 PM

10 @ Surprise, 12:35 PM

11 vs. Surprise, 12:35 PM

12 vs. Phoenix, 6:35 PM

13 @ Phoenix, 12:35 PM

14 @ Peo Javelinas, 6:35 PM

16 vs. Phoenix, 12:35 PM

17 vs. Surprise, 12:35 PM

18 @ Scottsdale, 6:35 PM

19 vs. Peo Saguaros, 12:35 PM

 

with my wife due any week, the bolded are unfortunately the only games I have a reasonable chance of attending this year - stinks with the guys they are sending - would love to see stanton, dominguez and miller play

 

also, a good question about bo porter, who was supposed to manage the solar sox - which could get little akward given current circumstances

 

although I wish they'd regain their affiliation with peoria, for another season at least i have to support the solar sox

 

t555_logo_lg.gif

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That's great news. He needs to work year round to build up his confidence.

 

Does anyone have a schedule for his team? Any trips to Jupiter?

 

It's the Arizona Fall League.

 

BTW, has anyone heard anything on the winter league that's starting down here?

 

they have one going on right now - they want to eventually start up the recently folded HI league out here in AZ

 

this year it was just a bunch of cactus league clubs that got together and decided to play some ball with their mid-level prospects .... the teams that share a facility are teaming up to field a single team of prospects - right now it's 8 teams as some are choosing not to participate due to economics

 

the games are afternoon starts on the secondary fields of these facilities

 

here is a recent article on this very short season operation this year

 

http://www.azcentral.com/community/swvalley/articles/2009/10/02/20091002fallball1002.html

 

here is a better one from MLB

 

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090917&content_id=7017768&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

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That's great news. He needs to work year round to build up his confidence.

 

Does anyone have a schedule for his team? Any trips to Jupiter?

 

It's the Arizona Fall League.

 

BTW, has anyone heard anything on the winter league that's starting down here?

 

Rab it starts the Oct 30th

 

http://www.miamidiamantes.com/

Sweet. Baseball 7 minutes from my house.

 

Oh, and what PhxPhin said was also very informative and interesting.

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Hah. AFL. American Football League was my initial guess... I was like WTF?

 

Arena Football league is what i was thinking.

 

Double fail by me. I was thinking Arena Football League... but misnamed it American Football League.

 

Probably had something to do with the whole throwback NFL stuff and Sunday football chat about the AFL teams :)

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That's great news. He needs to work year round to build up his confidence.

 

Does anyone have a schedule for his team? Any trips to Jupiter?

 

It's the Arizona Fall League.

 

BTW, has anyone heard anything on the winter league that's starting down here?

 

Rab it starts the Oct 30th

 

http://www.miamidiamantes.com/

 

Thanks for the heads up on this guys, I had no idea this was happening... its gonna be nice to have some baseball to watch over the winter.

Diamantes Schedule 2009-10 Season

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First I had to look up what a diamante was. French for diamond. Guess it must also be the same in Spanish??

 

From what I read, this is an independent league and not an instructional league. I'm not going out of my way to catch a game.

 

Good to see Andrew hit the AFL. Can't hurt as long as he dosen't overwork it. Good the other guys are also going there. Could make ST a little more interesting.

 

Now let's see some rosters for the Mexican equivalent league. Besides Boni working on a couple things, it will be interesting to see who else is going there.

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That's great news. He needs to work year round to build up his confidence.

 

Does anyone have a schedule for his team? Any trips to Jupiter?

 

It's the Arizona Fall League.

 

BTW, has anyone heard anything on the winter league that's starting down here?

 

A man can dream, can't he? Don't think I can survive until February without baseball.

 

That Miami team just doesn't cut it. Any other alternatives?

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That's great news. He needs to work year round to build up his confidence.

 

Does anyone have a schedule for his team? Any trips to Jupiter?

 

It's the Arizona Fall League.

 

BTW, has anyone heard anything on the winter league that's starting down here?

 

Rab it starts the Oct 30th

 

http://www.miamidiamantes.com/

 

 

Awesome! Baseball games available when I head back to Miami! It almost makes up for only being able to attend one Marlin game when I was in Miami... =[Does anyone know where the team gets their players?

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