Andrew Miller
Andrew Miller
33-Year-Old PitcherRP
St. Louis Cardinals
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Injuries wrecked Miller's 2018 season. First it was a left hamstring strain, and then right knee inflammation sidelined the lefty for more than two months. Late in the campaign, a shoulder impingement cost Miller a stretch and he struggled upon his return, posting a 6.30 ERA and 1.60 WHIP over his final 10 regular-season appearances and allowing four of the five batters he faced in the ALDS to reach base (three walks, one hit). He lost nearly 10 percentage points from his strikeout rate (29.2%) and his walk rate increased to 10.4%, which coincided with Miller losing a tick of velocity. His 13.2% swinging-strike rate was a six-year low, but Miller was among the elite before the injury-plagued season with sub-2.00 FIPs in three of the previous four years. He inked a two-year deal with St. Louis, which is a nice landing spot, as they do not have an established closer. Jordan Hicks may get the majority of the saves, but Miller could easily factor into that mix. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a two-year, $25 million contract with the Cardinals in December of 2018. Contract includes $12 million vesting option ($2.5 million buyout) for 2021.
Option for saves in St. Louis
PSt. Louis Cardinals
December 21, 2018
Miller has agreed to a two-year deal with the Cardinals that includes a vesting option for a third year, Jon Heyman of reports.
The financials are not yet known, but this deal is done. This is an ideal landing spot for Miller from a fantasy perspective, as the Cardinals did not have an established option in the ninth inning. That does not mean that Miller will get the save opportunities in St. Louis, but he will enter spring training with a chance to break camp as the closer, or one of the options to close games. Hamstring, knee and shoulder woes limited the southpaw to 34 innings in 2018. He struggled with his control (10.4 percent walk rate), but still missed bats at a high clip (29.2 percent strikeout rate). Jordan Hicks is the top right-handed option for saves, and Alex Reyes could also emerge as a contender for those opportunities if the Cardinals opt to deploy him out of the bullpen.
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Pitching Stats
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Minor League Game Log
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2016
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2016vs Left .186 194 67 14 33 3 0 4
Since 2016vs Right .164 479 196 32 71 20 2 10
2018vs Left .227 49 13 4 10 1 0 0
2018vs Right .236 105 32 12 21 9 1 3
2017vs Left .164 71 22 9 10 0 0 1
2017vs Right .136 173 73 12 21 4 0 2
2016vs Left .181 74 32 1 13 2 0 3
2016vs Right .153 201 91 8 29 7 1 5
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2016
ERA on Road
ERA on Road
ERA on Road
ERA on Road
Since 2016Home 2.27 0.89 90.0 10 4 8 14.4 2.0 0.9
Since 2016Away 1.69 0.86 79.0 6 4 8 13.2 2.9 0.6
2018Home 4.96 1.29 16.1 2 2 2 11.6 5.0 1.1
2018Away 3.57 1.47 17.2 0 2 0 12.2 3.6 0.5
2017Home 1.95 0.93 32.1 0 2 0 14.8 1.9 0.8
2017Away 0.89 0.73 30.1 4 1 2 12.5 4.2 0.0
2016Home 1.49 0.71 42.1 8 0 6 15.3 0.9 0.9
2016Away 1.41 0.66 32.0 2 1 6 14.3 1.4 1.1
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Stat Review
How does Andrew Miller compare to other relievers?
This section compares his stats with all relief pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 30 innings). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
93.1 mph
Strand %
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Coming off a historic 2016 season, Miller missed time with patellar tendinitis in his knee and failed to approach his lofty 44.7 strikeout percentage from the previous season. He lost about one mph on his fastball, which might've been partially caused by his lower-body troubles, and his walk rate more than doubled to 8.3 percent. Even in his down year, though, Miller was outstanding, finishing ninth among relievers in FIP with a 1.99 mark (min. 30 innings). There's an outside shot of Miller earning more save chances this year, as 2018 marks the final year of closer Cody Allen's contract. Still, Cleveland will for the most part want to use the southpaw in his typical multiple-inning role. An investment in Miller will pack a bigger return in deep games where starting pitching thins out quickly, and in leagues with inning restrictions, where Miller's career 13.6 K/9 as a reliever will play up more.
Miller had a historically elite season for a non-closer reliever last season. He struck out 45 percent -- FORTY FIVE PERCENT!! -- of the batters he faced in 2016 while holding them to a .159 batting average. That was the third consecutive season in which Miller has struck out at least 40 percent of the batters he's faced while holding them below a .160 batting average. For all of that amazing dominance, he has 49 saves over the past three seasons. Miller has been a sabermetric dream for relief pitcher usage, but he really took off after a midseason trade to Cleveland under Indians manager Terry Francona, who used him to put out early fires while eschewing the traditional usage of the team's best reliever for later innings. Miller would be an amazing full-time closer again if Cleveland were to trade Cody Allen, but the team seems quite willing to use Miller in a multitude of hats. Not piling up saves at a steady clip deflates his rotisserie value a bit, but Miller is still a better choice than many starting pitchers thanks to his excellent ratios and top-end strikeout rate.
Miller's dominant 2014 season earned him a four-year, $36 million contract with the Yankees, but despite the price tag he entered the year figuring to either be in a time-share for the closer role with Dellin Betances or to serve as the setup man. Though manager Joe Girardi hesitated to officially tab an official closer early in the season, Miller was the clear winner of the competition as he proved his 2014 campaign wasn't a fluke. The lefty converted 36 of 38 save opportunities, working to a 2.04 ERA (2.16 FIP), while reaching 100 strikeouts for the second year in a row as he boasted a 100:20 K:BB ratio in 61.2 innings of work. Aroldis Chapman, who the Yankees acquired in the offseason, was hit with a 30-game suspension for a domestic incident, so Miller should assume the closing duties until the second week of May. However, at that point he will likely be relegated to a setup role with Chapman taking the ninth inning.
Miller showed glimpses of greatness after a transition to the bullpen as a member of the Red Sox in 2012 and 2013. His strikeout rate essentially doubled to better than 30 percent, but the walk rate continued to be a problem, with a 12 percent mark in those two seasons. He was an improvement in command and control away from being truly special. Well, that’s exactly what happened in 2014, as he sliced his walk rate in half, upped the strikeout rate substantially and became one of baseball’s best relievers. Gone were the gaudy BABIPs that haunted him throughout most of his career, and the absurd 20.0% HR/FB rate from 2013 fell to a far more normal 8.6%. Nobody stood a chance against Miller, and a trade to Baltimore put him in the limelight to showcase that talent. This all came at a perfect time as the 30-year-old was able to cash in in the form of a four-year, $36 million contract with the Yankees. He figures to at least challenge Dellin Betances for the ninth-inning job, but even if he doesn't close for New York, Miller should still hold value in a setup role.
Miller continued his fine work out of Boston's bullpen before a foot injury ended his season in July. He's the first choice to face left-handed hitters and dazzled by striking out 14.1 batters per nine innings. He still has control issues. It hasn't hurt him as a reliever, but there's potential for it to be a problem. He walked 5.0 batters per nine innings in 2013. If the foot is good when spring rolls around, Miller will return as one of the left-handers out of the pen.
Miller turned in the best performance of his career in 2012, his first season as full-time reliever. He reduced his walk rate (4.5 BB/9), though it is still far from optimal, and increased his strikeout rate, whiffing nearly three times as many batters as he walked. He was particularly tough on lefties (.149), and leading off innings (.087). It would appear the shift to the bullpen has allowed him to focus on being aggressive and not having to worry about setting up hitters. While the walks might be troublesome at some point, we are not arguing with the results. He will return to Boston's bullpen in 2013, serving as a lefty specialist in a seventh-inning role.
Miller had a very dominant three-week stretch for Triple-A Pawtucket just as an opt-out clause in his contract was set to kick in, and he parlayed that into a regular role as a starting pitcher for Boston during mid-summer. Unfortunately, after a period of modest success in wins over Pittsburgh, Houston, and Baltimore, Miller lost the command he showed for the PawSox and was out of Boston's rotation entirely. He got a few more starts as the Red Sox collapsed late and remains on the 40-man roster for now. There's still hope Miller can consistently repeat his delivery over longer stretches and iron out the valleys.
Miller's time in Florida drew to a disappointing close, as it seemed like he had more injuries than big league victories. With his development time constantly interrupted and derailed the lanky lefty has become a mechanical mess, with his already shaky control actually regressing. The Red Sox will take a shot at rebuilding his delivery (and his confidence) but Miller's odds of having any value seem very long.
Various injuries once again kept Miller from pitching much more than about 100 innings in 2009, and once again his numbers were nothing special when he was healthy. Repeatable mechanics, not raw stuff, continue to be the issue for the lanky lefty, and his health woes aren't helping him on that front. Consider him the high-risk/high-reward poster boy, since at this point he seems just as likely to emerge as a bust as he does an ace.
Miller's numbers were as unsightly as they were the year before, but once again he did enough to tease those who see a future ace in his tall frame and raw stuff. His HR/9 and BB/9 rates improved, and for two months midseason he looked like a bona fide major league hurler (3.36 ERA, 1.26 WHIP over 11 May/June starts) before his right knee became a problem again and derailed his progress. The knee is a major concern but he's still be just 23 when the season begins and Miller has plenty of time to put it all together, so a buy-low opportunity may be presenting itself here if his midsummer performance was more than just a mirage.
The Tigers gave Miller an opportunity to join their rotation last season after putting Nate Robertson on the disabled list. Miller managed to stick around for a few months but he was ineffective. Command was the major problem as his 56:39 K:BB ratio. A hamstring injury kept Miller sidelined for much of August and when he returned to the majors he remained inconsistent. The Tigers opted to shut him down in early September to work on his mechanics but that didn't happen due to patellar tendinitis in his knee. Miller was traded to Florida in December where he'll likely earn a rotation spot.
Miller was Detroit's top pick last season and the consensus best player in the draft. He complements a high 90s fastball with a power slider and cut fastball. His future is as a starter but because Detroit was in a playoff race last season the team decided to call up the talented lefty at the end of August to add another southpaw to their pen. Miller didn't perform as well as he would have liked but that shouldn't be held against him by fantasy owners. He'll likely open next season at Double-A but could move quickly if he dominates. He could join the Tigers rotation as early as 2008.
More Fantasy News
Nearing deal with Cards
PFree Agent
December 21, 2018
Miller is reportedly finalizing a contract with the Cardinals, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
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Won't receive qualifying offer
PFree Agent
November 2, 2018
Miller will not receive a $17.9 million qualifying offer from the Indians before Friday's deadline, Zack Meisel of The Athletic reports.
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Strikes out side for second save
PCleveland Indians
September 19, 2018
Miller worked around a hit while striking out the side in a scoreless inning of work to earn his second save of the season Tuesday against the White Sox.
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Activated from DL
PCleveland Indians
September 10, 2018
Miller (shoulder) was activated from the 10-day disabled list Monday.
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Likely to return Monday
PCleveland Indians
September 9, 2018
Miller (shoulder) is expected to return from the disabled list Monday, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.
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