The Red Sox made an seemingly innocuous trade today obtaining LHP, Andrew Miller, from the Marlins for LHP, Dustin Richardson. Though Miller is a former Number One draft pick (2006 by the Tigers) and is only 25 years old, why on earth would the Red Sox want him? After all, the guy had just about as bad a year last year as a guy could possibly have pitching for both the Marlins and their Triple A affiliate. But the Fan has already stated once this week that those Red Sox are a crafty bunch. They have to see something in Miller that they believe can be of value.
Miller went 2-9 with a 5.43 ERA in two stops in the high minors last year. His WHIP was 1.8 and he walked 6.8 batters per nine innings. Then he pitched some for the Marlins and it wasn't pretty. He went 1-5 for the big league club with an 8.54 ERA and a WHIP of 2.38. It seems almost impossible for a WHIP to be that high. The only good sign for his minor league work was that he kept the ball in the yard. But that hasn't been true for his work in the majors in 2010 when it spiked to 1.7.
The Marlins aren't getting a sure thing either. Dustin Richardson was converted to a reliever the last couple of years in the Red Sox organization. As such, he had an extremely high K/9 rate in the high minors since the switch. But he couldn't find the plate in a fairly lengthy look with the Red Sox last year. Richardson threw more walks with the Red Sox than he had innings pitched. And a high walk rate is consistent with his work in the minors too.
Richardson was also drafted in 2006, but he was a sixth round pick and not a first round pick. Richardson is a year older than Miller who is 25.
Like the Fan's favorite character The Mentalist, the Fan is trying to find a missing piece of information that the Red Sox seized upon to make this deal. You know they are up to something. It can't be as simple as both teams feeling the pitchers need a change of scenery. Perhaps the Red Sox feel that Curt Young can fix Andrew Miller and if so, he gives them starter insurance in case one of their pitchers comes up hurt. The Marlins are always looking for bullpen help, so you can understand their interest in a high strikeout reliever. The Red Sox already have plenty of those.
This smacks of the Red Sox seeing something in Miller that isn't obvious to the rest of us. The guy is huge, like six feet, eleven or something. He could be a Randy Johnson-like, late bloomer. And perhaps this Fan is just giving the Red Sox more credit than merits here in this no-nothing deal. Or is it...