A take on the Andrew Miller-Eduardo Rodriguez deal

Dan Duquette called Andrew Miller a left-handed reliever that can dominate left-handed batters and be very effective against right-handed batters as well.

andrew-miller-red-sox.jpgIn the end, it appears the Orioles were just not willing to pay the price to get a starter like Jon Lester or David Price, so they strengthened the back-end of their bullpen. As Duquette mentioned today, a lot of postseason games are decided late by the performance of the bullpens.

Miller is having one strong season. He is 3-5 with a 2.35 ERA in 50 games. Over 42 1/3 innings, he has allowed just 25 hits with 13 walks and 69 strikeouts. Opponent batters hit just .168 off him.

Lefty batters hit just .150 with an OPS of .420 against Miller, and right-handed batters hit .180 with an OPS of .537. He gives up just an average of .105 with runners in scoring position.

Miller ranks fourth among major league relievers this season, striking out 14.67 per nine innings. His 5.31 strikeout-to-walk ratio ranks 17th.

Yeah, he’s having a terrific year.

The 29-year-old Miller was taken with the sixth-overall pick in 2006 by Detroit. He pitched college ball at the University of North Carolina.

The Orioles did not want to give up Eduardo Rodriguez, a young lefty they liked a lot but who was “required” according to Duquette in terms of what it took to get this deal done. The price was high for a reliever having an excellent year.

“It wasn’t our first choice to trade him,” Duquette said of the move. “But our team is in the race and we want to continue what we started. We needed to add to our club to be competitive with the other clubs, not just in our division, but the other clubs in the American League in a playoff situation.”

Miller is having his best year in several stat categories to include WHIP (0.898), hits per nine innings (5.3) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (5.31).

As pitcher who didn’t produce good stats as a starter - his career mark is 20-27 with an ERA of 5.70 - Miller has pitched much better since becoming a full-time reliever in 2012.

The O’s added to the already strong back-end of their bullpen today. It will be up to the starters and hitters to get leads and then up to Miller, Darren O’Day and Zach Britton to lock them down in the late innings.

What is your take on the trade?

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