November 30, 2020

How Andrew Miller Can Return to Dominance (FanGraphs)


From 2014 to 2017, relief pitcher Andrew Miller was one of the most dominant arms to come out of a bullpen. Miller averaged 2.4 WAR during those four seasons, and in three of those four, he posted a sub-2.00 FIP. In fact, in 2016, Miller struck out nearly 50% of hitters he faced while walking just over 3%.

As we know, decline is inevitable for baseball players. Whether it’s due to playing over your head, the impact of aging, or just loss of ability, the equalizer comes for everyone at some point. By the time Miller landed with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2019, he was a little bit older and a shell of his former self. His walk rate rose to over 11%, his FIP ballooned over 5.00, and his home run rate became, to date, the highest it had ever been. Be it age or an impending decline, Miller doesn’t necessarily have to succumb to either just yet. Yes, he’ll turn 35 next May, but he might have something left in the tank.

Despite 2019 being one of the worst seasons in his career, Miller showed some flashes of returning to his mid-2010s form. During the month of July as well as the Cardinals’ October playoff run, Miller made a subtle but important adjustment to the pitch…

Read “How Andrew Miller Can Return to Dominance” at FanGraphs