Recently, there have been quite a few reports that the Detroit Tigers might have an interest in Philadelphia Phillies left-handed reliever Antonio Bastardo. Another left-handed specialist that they should be keeping tabs on is former Tiger Andrew Miller, who is currently pitching for the Boston Red Sox.
Miller pitched for the Tigers from 2006-07, appearing in 21 games and making 13 starts while posting a 5.69 ERA. He, of course, is also remembered as one of the centerpieces of the package that the Tigers sent to the Florida Marlins in exchange for Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis in that memorable blockbuster back in December of 2007.
Miller never became the pitcher that the Marlins hoped they would be getting, but he has seemingly turned over a new leaf since joining the Red Sox in 2011. Miller has been pitching exclusively out of the bullpen since 2012, and he has found a great deal of success out of that role. He is 8-11 with a 3.71 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP in his career as a reliever, compared to 20-27 with a 5.70 ERA and a 1.73 WHIP as a starter.
This season, Miller is currently pitching to the tune of a 3-5 record, a 2.45 ERA and a very impressive 0.94 WHIP. He would be an enormous improvement over two of the Tigers’ current left-handed relievers, Phil Coke and Ian Krol, who each have ERAs north of 4.50 and WHIPs higher than 1.55.
As of late, Blaine Hardy has been the most effective left-handed reliever in the Tigers’ bullpen, surprisingly pitching to the tune of a 2.08 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP. Hardy could use some company, however, and Miller could potentially be a very good fit.
The Red Sox might be looking to sell high on Miller, if they are in fact open to moving him, but the Tigers should not be scared away by the asking price. The general consensus among Tigers fans is that 2014 could be their best chance to win it all for quite some time. If the Tigers believe that Miller could help them win a championship, they should do whatever it takes to bring him back to Detroit.