Breaking News: Trever Miller is Apparently Awesome

Jul 31, 2009 at 12:03 pm
I knew Trever Miller was having a good year, but to be honest, I had no idea just how good. Watching last night's game, when Miller came in, I was shocked to see his ERA for the year was 2.03. "Surely that's a mirage," I thought to myself. "He's been good, but that good?" 

So I started checking on Miller's numbers a little, and I have to say, I may not have realized it until just now, but Trever Miller has probably been the best lefty specialist in baseball this year. 

It seemed like a fairly innocuous pickup at the time; the Cardinals needed to pick up some sort of assistance for last year's brutal relief corps, and the sinister side seemed as good a place to start as any. So John Mozeliak turned to Trever Miller, veteran LOOGY extraordinaire, to fill the hole left by the respective exoduses (exodi?), of both Randy Flores and Ron Villone. After some wrangling over the details of the contract in light of an MRI which found something odd going on in Miller's shoulder, he finally became a Cardinal on the 3rd of December, for the princely sum of $500,000
Like I said, it seemed like a relatively small matter at the time, but Miller may very well have been the Cardinals' best pickup of the offseason. He's certainly the biggest bargain; Miller is making barely over league minimum base salary, and has been the best LOOGY in baseball. 

So far this season, Miller has appeared in 41 games, and tossed 27 innings. His ERA stands at exactly 2.00 after last night's one pitch, one out effort. His WHIP is 1.00. He's striking out 10.3 batters per 9 innings, and posting a 3.44:1 K:BB ratio. I don't know that I would classify those as video game numbers just yet, but they aren't all that far off, either. 

More importantly, Miller has been absolute death on left-handers this year; that is what he was signed for, so that's what we really care about, right? Lefties have been essentially helpless against Miller this season, putting up a line of .111/.162/.190, for an OPS of .352. That's right, Trever Miller's OPS against by lefties this year would be a decent, but not great, on-base percentage. His K:BB ratio when facing left-handers is 7:1. In short, Trever Miller has been getting lefties out this year at an absolutely stunning pace. 

Will it continue? I have no idea. The BABIP of left-hander against Miller this year is .171, so it's entirely possible Miller is due for some regression. On the other hand, most of the contact off Miller has been of the extremely weak, infield fly variety, and very few popups turn into base hits. Regardless, Trever Miller has been utterly brilliant this season, and I think both he and John Mozeiliak could use a little bit of recognition.