The Adam Miller watch returns in what may be a rain out here in Buffalo. It is the middle of May and Miller is yet to pitch in a game where the weather cooperated for him. However, maybe that has come as a good thing as Miller has not allowed an earned run in 3 of his 4 starts to date. It also should be noted that Miller had his best start of the season following his worst.
On May 9th, Miller pitched five very strong innings, allowing only 3 hits and surrendering 2 walks while accumulating 4 strikeouts. Each of the hits Miller surrendered were for singles with one of the hitters making it to second on a steal. I am curious as to whether or not Miller's tall stature has an effect on how effective he can be controlling the running game.
It is interesting to note that Miller threw only 54 of 85 pitches for strikes. To date, his control still is not entirely there. He does have the stuff to succeed while being wild in the minors, but major league hitters would eat him up.
In viewing last week's MiLB Gameday, we can see that Miller started off this start with two strikeouts, both on swinging strikes on pitches in the zone. I have noticed that a lot of Miller's pitches are being fouled off and am curious what relationship this has with how Miller is currently pitching.
In the second inning, Miller was battling with every hitter he faced, allowing the first two to reach on singles after multiple balls were fouled off. As you can see with the at bat against Buscher (image right), we can see that Miller appeared to be unable to truly trick the journeyman. For a pitcher of Miller's stuff, he should not have this type of difficulty in getting a hitter to hit his pitch. Another thing to take note of, Miller was fortunate that two of five hitters he faced put the ball in play on the first pitch of the at bat. Even still, Miller allowed three base runners on 25 pitches. Fortunate for Adam was a nicely turned double play.
The third inning was a different story for Adam as he was able to set the side down in order along with a dominating strikeout against hot hitting Denard Span.
Entering the bottom of the forth, Miller had thrown 43 pitches and was looking as if he could eat up some serious innings and possibly earn a victory. He kept this up by throwing 7 pitches on his way to setting down the side.
Up by two runs, Miller had just posted two of his most efficient back to back innings of the season. After this point, Adam was poised to go 7, if not 8 innings for the longest start of his young season. That, however came to a quick close as he again struggled to put a hitter away. Garrett Jones, whom you might otherwise know for his outstanding minor league on base percentage (.325) took Miller to the ropes lining out to center on 8 pitches. Another 6 pitches to Morales and Miller has sat down to hitters on a total of 14 pitches. However, things began to again unfurl as hitters continued to foul pitches off and Miller could not fool anyone with a pitch outside of the strike zone. An 8 pitch at bat and Basak reaches on a soft fly ball to left, Casilla walks on 5 pitches (4 straight balls) and finally Miller finishes off the inning. Although not before throwing 8 pitches to Span. In total, the fifth inning took Miller 35 pitches, jumping him up to 85 and consequently ending his evening.
A (different) source close to the team reported that Miller is still working in the low 90s and is improving with each start. Additionally, the news is good from the perspective of the Cleveland Indians as Miller has been holding up fine to date.