With the regression of Luis Avilan the Atlanta Braves are in need of a left-handed relief pitcher. Right now, the only left-handed option in the bullpen is rookie Chasen Shreve. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution the Braves are interested in Andrew Miller from the Boston Red Sox. They initially seemed hesitant to part with Miller, but a recent losing streak has their playoff chances looking extremely bleak. For some mid-level prospects Miller could be Atlanta bound, providing a solution to their LOOGY issues.
Andrew Miller is lefty #Braves want, but Red Sox might not deal him long as they think they have a decent playoff chance.
— David O’Brien (@DOBrienAJC) July 22, 2014
Braves fans have likely heard the name, but just who is Andrew Miller? The 6 feet 7 inch left-hander out of the University of North Carolina was a top rated prospect coming out of college, and was the sixth overall pick in the 2006 draft by the Detroit Tigers. He began his career as a starting pitcher, but struggle with command and repeating his delivery led to poor results. He spent time with the Tigers before being traded to the Marlins in the Miguel Cabrera deal. With the Marlins he continued to struggle in his starting role and was eventually traded to Boston, where he converted to exclusively relief pitching in 2012.
The 2012 season saw moderate success for Miller, he had a 3.35 ERA in 40.1 innings, but he still had an issue with control. Last year he really blossomed in his new role, sporting a 2.64 ERA in limited innings, due to injury. This season he picked up right where he left off, he currently has a 2.31 ERA, and a 1.73 FIP in 39 innings. Most importantly his walk rate is down to a career low 7.6 percent, while his strikeout rate is an impressive 39.9 percent.
Andrew Miller would be a great fit in Atlanta, and the Braves could certainly use him. Miller is peaking in his role as a left-handed specialist and trading for him would give Atlanta a more complete bullpen for their postseason run.