The Blue Jays announced Monday that they’ve signed five players to minor league contracts with invitations to Major League Spring Training: right-handers Justin Miller, Phillippe Aumont and A.J. Cole (as had been previously been reported in Cole’s case), outfielder Patrick Kivlehan and infielder Andy Burns.
Miller, 32, has the most notable recent experience at the MLB level among the newly known signees. He spent the 2018-19 seasons pitching out of the Nationals’ bullpen and looked to be a savvy bargain find in the first of those two campaigns. The 2018 season saw Miller work to a 3.61 ERA with 10.3 K/9, 2.9 BB/9 and a 33.6 percent ground-ball rate. He was prone to home runs (1.72 HR/9), but Miller’s ability to miss bats and limit walks allowed him to produce a rather solid season.
Things went south in 2019, as Miller’s already homer-prone arsenal was clobbered among a leaguewide home-run surge; in 15 2/3 innings he posted a 4.02 ERA but a 7.11 FIP thanks to five home runs allowed….