Stop the presses: Indians righthander Adam Miller hit 100 mph on Saturday, but reaching that mark has little to do with whether or not the 22-year-old phenom is back from the elbow strain that sidelined him early in 2005.
“Am I back? I feel like I’ve been back for a while now,” Miller said. “When they told me I hit a hundred, it wasn’t a big deal or anything. I know I was up to 97 or 98 (in the spring), so it wasn’t that much of a surprise. I didn’t know it until afterwards.”
Miller has been back since right around the all-star break last season, regularly hitting the mid-90s with his fastball and complementing his heater with an upper 80s slider and developing changeup.
But the addition of a two-seamer under the supervision of Double-A Akron pitching coach Scott Radinsky has been the magic key, as the depth to Miller’s changeup and the bite on his slider have both improved since developing a sinker.
“It’s really made everything else better,” Miller said. “It’s more than giving me another pitch or another weapon to attack hitters with–(having a two-seamer) gives me the confidence just to throw everything else the way I need to throw it.”
Scout’s Take No. 1: on Brewers third baseman Ryan Braun: “Braun has had trouble throwing the ball in the area code of first base, but the bat is lethal. He’s still prone to above-average stuff in, but if you miss your spot, it’s not coming back. I still think he’s going to be a destructive middle-of-the-order guy as a corner outfielder–and not a third baseman.”
Scout’s Take No. 2: on Pirates catcher-turned-third-baseman Neil Walker: “Good hitter, but not a catcher by a long shot. Catching would have always been a struggle. And third base might still be, but he might be B.J. Surhoff when all the dust clears.”
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