The Milwaukee Brewers could add to their bullpen during the off season, but Andrew Miller is a name to stay away from.
The Milwaukee Brewers have a fantastic bullpen. They have a trio of awesome relievers that function to shorten games. They’ll probably add at least one more name to their relief corps this off season. That name shouldn’t be Andrew Miller.
Miller is really good, right?
He was! From 2014 to 2017, Miller posted a WAR of 2.0 or higher in each season. His ERA ended the season over 2.00 exactly once. In 2015 he posted an ERA of 2.04.
His fastball was typically in the 96-to-93 MPH range, and he relied heavily on a devastating slider.
He was about as lights-out as any lefty in the game. However, the key part of that sentence is the fact that it’s in past tense.
What happened in 2018?
The wheels kind of fell off for Miller. He was only worth 0.4 WAR, his fastball dipped in velocity, and his ERA ballooned to 4.24. Oddly enough his BB/9 was also 4.24. That’s the highest number he’s posted in a full season since 2013.
He also spent time on the DL in 2018 with knee, hamstring, and shoulder issues.
Are there any other reasons to stay away from Miller?
Actually, there are. Miller will turn 34 during the 2019 season, and he already has over 500 games under his belt, including a lot of high stress innings in the post season.
He’s known for relying heavily on his slider, a pitch that’s know to chew up shoulders and elbows when it’s used extensively. The last time Miller’s slider usage rate was under 40% was 2012.
He’s also sure to command a multi-year deal worth anywhere from $8 million-to-$10 million depending on how good his agent is. Older and more expensive is not the right direction for the Milwaukee Brewers to go with their bullpen.
As cool as signing Miller looks on paper, it’s not a scenario that Milwaukee Brewers fans should get excited over. Miller pairing with Josh Hader, Corey Knebel, and Jeremy Jeffress sounds really cool, but the reality is that Miller has struggled with injuries and the performance hasn’t quite been the same. He’s not quite the same pitcher he once was, and he’s unlikely to deliver the results that he was putting up from 2014 to 2017.
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The Milwaukee Brewers will add at least one veteran name to their bullpen, but it absolutely shouldn’t be Miller. A three- or four-year deal for Miller could look really awful in less than a year. It would also tie up valuable payroll space that the Brewers will need to keep their young core in Milwaukee. Miller is a stay away, even if he has a name that’s sure to attract headlines.