See also: Wednesday’s Daily Dish
See also: Today’s Baseball America Prospect Report
The way Indians righthander Adam Miller pitched Wednesday, it looked like he was inspired by being named to this year’s Futures Game.
But in reality, the 21-year-old had no clue.
It’s been an inconsistent season at Double-A Akron for Cleveland’s No. 1 prospect, but he posted his best outing of the year in the Aeros 3-1 win against Binghamton. Miller allowed a run on four hits over seven innings. He struck out 10 and walked two.
And as he walked around the clubhouse afterward, Akron manager Tim Bogar congratulated him with the news that he was headed to Pittsburgh for the all-star break.
Bogar will also be joining Miller at PNC Park, as he was named as one of the coaches for the U.S. squad.
Miller’s strikeout totals started slowly, then picked up as he got into a groove–at one point he whiffed seven of 13 batters he faced.
And the good news for the Indians is twofold. Miller is maintaining his velocity deep into games and he’s getting to the point where he’s comfortable throwing his offspeed pitches. Miller missed two months at the beginning of the 2005 season with a strained ligament in his elbow.
“He got stronger as he went,” Bogar told the Akron Beacon-Journal. “Then he started using his slider more, and his 94-95 mile-an-hour fastball began looking a lot more like 98-99.”
After losing three straight May starts, Miller has reeled off wins in three of his last five outings and is now 7-4, 3.75 with an 82-23 strikeout-walk ratio in 84 innings overall.
“The stuff is definitely there,” Bogar said. “He just needs to keep improving on making adjustments in his delivery to consistently keep the ball down. He’s starting to use his changeup more–and he’s understanding how to use it in situations. These are all very positive signs.”
• Kevin Kouzmanoff is frustrated. Again. The Akron third baseman missed two months last year with back issues, then missed six games in April when his back tightened up and has been out since June 15. He will likely miss the next 10 days-to-two weeks with a nagging hamstring strain. “I’ve been so upset, I had a hard time sleeping last night,” Kouzmanoff told the Akron Beacon-Journal. “I’ve been going so well, this is the last thing I need again.” Kouzmanoff still leads the minors in aveage and on-base and slugging percentage . . . The Orioles promoted lefthander Garrett Olson to Double-A Bowie Wednesday. Olson was so-so in his debut, and experienced some command problems in Bowie’s 8-7 loss to New Britain. The 2005 supplemental-round pick allowed five earned runs on seven hits, walked four and struck out five. Olson went 4-4, 2.77 in 81 innings at high Class A Frederick prior to his promotion . . . The Twins finally promoted righthander Kevin Slowey to Double-A New Britain after the 22-year-old dominated the high Class A Florida State League, going 4-2, 1.01 with a ridiculous 99-9 strikeout-walk ratio at Fort Myers. In his final start Wednesday, Slowey did not allow an earned run, scattered four hits and struck out seven in 7 2/3 innings. “His control is pinpoint,” a scout with a National League club said. “His fastball and slider are solid-average pitches and his changeup is a tick above.” . . . Cardinals righthander Blake Hawksworth won his fourth straight decision for high Class A Palm Beach in their 10-3 win against Daytona. Hawksworth struck out a season-high 10 batters without issuing a walk in seven strong innings, allowing just two runs on seven hits. He hasn’t lost since May 5 and has gone six or more innings in each of his last 10 starts. Hawksworth improved to 7-2, 2.47 in 84 innings on the season . . . Angels outfield prospect Nick Gorneault was placed on the disabled list with a broken left patella. The Triple-A Salt Lake outfielder fouled a pitch off his leg on Sunday, and his timetable to return is not yet known . . . Salt Lake’s Howie Kendrick hit a fourth-inning home run Wednesday that traveled an estimated 450 feet . . . It was just one game, and it was back in the short-season New York-Penn League, but Brian Bogusevic will take it. went two innings for Tri-Cities and allowed an unearned run on two hits and two walks while striking out two. In his last outing May 4 for low Class A Lexington, the lefthander allowed seven earned runs, including three home runs, without recording an out. After that outing, he was placed on the disabled list with elbow soreness and had not pitched since. Bogusevic debuted in the NYPL last year after being drafted in the first round by the Astros out of Tulane and went 0-2, 7.59 in 21 innings . . . Evan Longoria was 1-for-5 in his pro debut on Tuesday, but he made up for it last night. The third overall pick by the Devil Rays went 5-for-6 with a double Wednesday for short-season Hudson Valley . . . The Dodgers decided to hold 2005 second round pick Josh Wall away from full-season ball this spring. The projectable Wall debuted in the Rookie-level Pioneer League on Wednesday, and recorded his first win of the season. Wall allowed just three hits in 5 and 2/3 innings, giving up one earned run. “Josh did a heckuva job tonight. He hung in there and threw the ball well,” Ogden manager Lance Parrish told the Deseret News. “He’s thrown the ball well for us most of the spring, so I was hoping he wouldn’t get the jitters. He settled in pretty quick.” . . . Rookie-level Billings first baseman Logan Parker reached base five times on Wednesday, but all was forgotten when Parker was picked off with men on the corners and one out. “It killed our inning,” the 12th-round pick from the University of Cincinnati told the Billings Gazette. “[Great Falls righthander Nick Walters] has a great move, a dirty move.” Parker, who hit .344/.465/.638 in his final season as a Bearcat, collected two singles, two walks and his first home run as a professional in the Mustangs loss.
Contributing: J.J. Cooper, Aaron Fitt, Matt Meyers, Bryan Smith.