It seems lately that news has been sparse, but I picked up this bit of information this morning from John Shea at the Chronicle.
Now the plan is for depth at Fresno, and one candidate is 6-foot-7 lefty Andrew Miller, who visited the Giants’ suite Tuesday.
Miller was recently sent to the Red Sox in a trade from the Marlins, but the Red Sox were unable to hammer out contract details with Miller, and he was subsequently non-tendered. Miller’s downfall in the majors has been his poor control. Over 294.1 innings in the pros, Miller has walked 5.3 per nine innings. In 2010 he walked 7.2 per nine in just 32.2 innings pitched. The Marlins were out of options on Miller and the team decided to move on.
The 25-year-old left-hander is best known for being drafted in the 1st round (#6 overall) of the 2006 draft — the same year the Giants picked up Lincecum — out of the University of North Carolina. He was also one of the centerpieces, along with fellow stalled-prospect Cameron Maybin, in the Miguel Cabrera to Detroit trade. Miller’s walk-rates have always been a point for concern. In his first two years at UNC, he posted near identical rates of 4.85 and 4.84 walks per nine. In his last year at UNC, Miller cut his walk-rate down to 2.92 per nine. Unfortunately, his walk-rate reduction in his last season of college ball didn’t follow him into the minors (career walk-rate of 5 per nine, 232 innings pitched) and he’s been labeled a bust ever since.
The good news for Miller — if he chooses to sign with the Giants — is that it’s hard to find a better organization that’s had success with pitchers. As a lefty that can throw in the low-90′s, he shouldn’t be that far off (theoretically) from being a productive pitcher. Of course, the road to being a “good” pitcher is paved with talented guys that could never put it together. If Miller turns out to be one of those pitchers, then so be it. But if the Giants can sign him to a minor league deal, stash him in Fresno, and let him work under the tutelage of some of the Giants’ pitching instructors, it could be a great move for both Miller and the Giants.
For what it’s worth, the Red Sox were planning on using him as a reliever.