For Brad Miller, the future is now
By Shannon Drayer
Ryan Divish of The News Tribune got a little bonus when he went to watch Danny Hultzen’s return to the Rainiers Thursday night. After the game, Brad Miller was told that he had been called up to Seattle, and according to Divish’s tweets, the scene in the clubhouse was memorable.
The timing of the move is somewhat surprising in that Miller was selected to play in the Futures Game during the All-Star break and the club has often liked to have players have that experience, but Miller has forced the issue. Batting .356 and currently on a 22-game hitting streak, Brad Miller’s future is now in Seattle.
Corresponding moves have yet to be announced, and they will have to be made to get him on both the 25- and 40-man rosters. Carlos Triunfel will most likely be sent down, and any number of moves could be made – a trade, DFA or even putting Jesus Montero on the 60-day DL – to get Miller on the 40-man. Another move most likely will have to be made in the next couple of days as Josh Kinney’s rehab assignment is due to end Saturday.
Miller no doubt is coming up to play, and by the looks of things Brendan Ryan is heading to the bench. Ryan put up solid numbers from mid-May to mid-June, but those numbers have fallen off drastically since and he has just three hits in his last 31 plate appearances. Having him around could be a huge benefit to Miller, whose defense is still a work in progress. In spring training Miller told me that he was able to learn a lot by just watching Ryan in Cactus League games.
“I just try to soak up as much as I can,” he said of Ryan in March. “In the dugout I am just locked in on what he is doing out there. The biggest thing I have learned is he is locked in on every pitch. Every pitch. He is moving and anticipating. That is something he has mentioned to me is he takes pride in that, anticipating, taking away hits. Nobody else fields like he does because he is in the right spot and he anticipates every pitch.”
Like Nick Franklin and Kyle Seager two years before, Miller comes to the big leagues rather quickly after having success at every level. In addition to bringing the bat, he can run a little bit when he gets on. And while it is an extremely small sample size of 25 games and a different level, his best numbers have come with runners on or runners in scoring position, obviously something that his needed by the big club right now.
We shall see if Miller Time begins Friday or not. With lefty Travis Wood on the hill for the Cubs, Eric Wedge may choose to wait a day before putting him in the lineup. If not, there is a good chance that in that lineup we will see Miller at short along with Dustin Ackley in the outfield, Mike Zunino behind the plate and Nick Franklin at second. I am not sure anyone saw that coming in the final days of June.