I sent my buddy Odie a text last night that the Boston Red Sox had traded for LHP Andrew Miller and his response was “Our new Hermida.”

The reference for those of you who are not aware, is to Jeremy Hermida. The Red Sox acquired the once super prospect from the Florida Marlins early last winter in hopes that he could turn his career around.

Yeah, that never happened.


Miller was traded to Boston yesterday

Hermida hit just .203 with a .257 OBP in 52 games with the Red Sox before being released in August. He was later picked up by the Oakland A’s.

If at first you don’t succeed with a super prospect, try and try again.

As I mentioned above, the Red Sox traded for Miller yesterday. In order to acquire the 25-year-old lefty, the Red Sox had to part with 26-year-old lefty Dustin Richardson.

Miller has been nothing short of disappointing since being drafted by the Detroit Tigers with the sixth overall pick in the 2006 Draft. After spending two years in Detroit and posting a 1.75 WHIP in 74.1 Major League innings, he was shipped to the Marlins in the Miguel Cabrera trade.

A trade by the way, that is looking worse and worse for the Marlins by the second. The two centerpieces of that trade for the Marlins—Miller and Cameron Maybin—have been complete busts so far.

In three years with the Marlins, Miller posted a 5.89 ERA, a 1.73 WHIP, 5.1 BB’s/9 innings, and 7.2 K’s/9 innings in 220 innings. The biggest issue for Miller as you can see, is walks.

The guy has about as much control as Charlie Sheen in a Whore House.

In 294.1 career Major League innings, Miller has walked a ridiculous 174 batters. That’s a walk every five batters. He really regressed in 2010 as he walked over seven batters per nine innings.

Miller is a coach’s worst nightmare.

The issue as I see it with Miller is that he has a tough time keeping his 6’7″ frame under control throughout his delivery. This would explain why his release point is all over the place.

Take a look at his release points from two games this season.


9/29/10 vs. Atlanta


9/19/10 vs. Cincinnati

While his release point between the two starts might not look much different, it is. The release point issue is not unusual for tall pitchers. Randy Johnson went through it and so did Chris Young.

New Boston pitching coach Curt Young is going to have to figure out a way for Miller to gain some consistency with his release point. That is his first order of business.

The second order is to figure out a way to get Miller’s velocity back.

In college and in his first year in the pros, Miller was throwing beebe’s to the tune of 94-95 mph. That is what made Miller such a high draft pick. A lefty who throws in the mid-90′s in college is gold.

Now Miller is throwing a pedestrian 90 mph. His average fastball velocity has decreased every year he has been in the majors. Maybe a full-time move to the bullpen, where Miller can just let it go for an inning or two, will help.

Miller is expected to compete for a bullpen spot with the Red Sox in 2011 and if he makes it, he will have a friend. He and Daniel Bard were teammates at the University of North Carolina.

Bard, like Miller, struggled with control early in his career and has now figured it out. Perhaps Bard can now be a mentor to Miller in Boston.

At 25, it would be hard to imagine that Miller is already toast. The Red Sox have a history of taking chances on low-risk, high-reward players.

Bill Mueller, David Ortiz, and Takashi Saito worked. John Smoltz, Brad Penny, and Hermida didn’t. We will have to wait and see if which side Miller falls on.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @theghostofmlg

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