“Admired playing against them,” Miller said at his first O’s press conference. “Someone asked if this was a big change and if I had any animosity toward Baltimore. Definitely not.
“Clearly they are doing something right here. Last couple of years they’ve been one of the best teams in what I believe to be the best division in baseball. To be up there is an accomplishment and I’m happy to join that.”
The Orioles certainly had Miller as one of their top trade targets and acquired him for Double-A Bowie pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez just ahead of yesterday’s deadline.
“It’s certainly a compliment to be wanted,” he said. “Ecstatic that I was wanted by multiple teams and wanted by the Orioles. That’s a huge compliment. Now I have to focus on the hitter just like I did in Boston.
“I was not really surprised something happened. It’s been the whole week leading up to it, it seemed like it was becoming more and more inevitable, out of my control and I tried to limit the distraction as much as I could from my focus.”
Miller is having a big year. He was 3-5 with a 2.35 ERA in 50 games for the Red Sox. Over 42 1/3 innings, he has allowed just 25 hits with 13 walks and 69 strikeouts. Opposing 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 an average of just .105 with runners in scoring position.
“I want to come in and help this team,” Miller said. “I injured my foot last year and missed out on all the fun (of the playoffs). I felt like I certainly contributed to winning games in the first half, but unfortunately just couldn’t do anything in the second half. Hopefully, some of that rubbed off on me, on how they did and how well they played down the stretch.
“It is certainly an odd feeling (to be traded), first time I’ve been through it. Felt like for a week in advance something would happen. The stress, in a sense of not knowing what would go on, was a little frustrating and distracting.
“But I’m excited where I ended up and it seems like a great group of guys. Everyone is welcoming. It’s been a pretty steady clubhouse here the last few years so I’ve seen these guys quite a bit.”
One thing Miller does know about his new team is how hard it is to compete in the American League East. He’s done well in this division and knows what he will be facing.
“I would imagine it was valued by Baltimore bringing me in,” he said. “I saw that in my time in Boston. Guys that can pitch in this division are valued. There have been plenty of examples of guys having a tough transition to this division.
“There may be times people say the AL East is down. But you look at the payrolls, the lineups that are run out there every day. Not an easy place to pitch. I take pride in the fact I’ve held my own in this division. Think that is valued by all five teams in the division.”
It was a clean-shaven Miller that was interviewed by Baltimore reporters this afternoon.
“I had the beard when I got here this morning. But pretty quickly it was passed on to me that beards are not expected here,” Miller said. “That’s fine. I want to seamlessly fit into this team and contribute where I can.”