On Thursday reports came out that the St. Louis Cardinals were close an agreement with 33- year old left handed reliever Andrew Miller. The reported deal is for two years with a third year added if certain goals are met by Miller. Cardinals Nation 247 contributor, Ethan Carter, wrote earlier today on the news.
The Cardinals have been looking for help in the bulllpen, especially from the left handed side of the pen. Miller's name has been in play for the Cardinals, dating back to last season before the trade deadline. Other left handers being named as possible free agent or trade targets included Zach Britton and Will Smith.
So it seems the Cardinals have found themselves an important piece for the bullpen and as a result Cardinal fans are celebrating. But I have some concerns.
MILLER AND 2018
Miller's injury riddled 2018 season is the first area of concern for me. The two time all star only pitched 34 innings in 37 games and had a 4.24 ERA, with a 1.382 WHIP. He had three stints on the DL, missing time due to issues with hamstring, knee, and shoulder.
The question becomes, was 2018 just bad luck or is it a sign of deteriorating health and skills of a player approaching his mid-30s.
It could very well just have been a bad luck season for Miller, after all, since his move to the bullpen in 2012, he has been outstanding. In stints with Boston, Baltimore, New York and Cleveland, he has been one of baseball's most dominate bullpen arms. Since 2012 his ERA's are 2.64(2013), 2.02(2014), 2.04(2015), 1.45(2016), and 1.44(2017). This Andrew Miller is the one the Cardinals are betting on for the next two to three years.
SIEGRIST, LYONS, AND CECIL.
My next worry about this signing has nothing to do with Andrew Miller. It has to do with Kevin Siegrist, Tyler Lyons, and the much maligned Brett Cecil. Siegrist and Lyons came up through the Cardinals system and were effective weapons out of the bullpen for a couple of years. But injuries, possibly through bullpen mismanagement by a certain ex-manager, ended their effectiveness. Siegrist is looking for a job and Lyons is back in the minor league attempting a comeback.
Brett Cecil's story I don't need to rehash for most Cardinal fans. However, as a result of his four year, $30.5 million contract, has given many Cardinals fans(including me) reservations about extending a multi-year contract to a reliever. Also, Andrew MIller comes to the Cardinals three years older than Cecil did in 2017.
Whether through bullpen mismanagement or whether most bullpen arms just have a short shelf life, this Andrew Miller signing concerns me.
Maybe the stories of Siegrist, Lyons, and Cecil shouldn't concern me when it comes to Miller, but they do. Maybe Miller's 2018 season shouldn't concern me either, but it does. But maybe with better bullpen management by MIke Shildt, my concerns will be proven to be unfounded.
Most of you are celebrating the signing of Andrew Miller and I hope we see the Andrew Miller of 2017 in 2019. But, I do have concerns.
Let us know your thoughts on the Andrew Miller coming to St. Louis.. Thanks for reading.