The first cut is the deepestNovember 20, 2008 at 2:24 pm | Posted in Baseball, Rays | 1 Comment
It had to happen eventually. I knew that the entire 2008 Tampa Bay Rays roster could not stay together forever, but I am sad to learn that the first member of the team has departed. Left-handed relief pitcher Trever Miller has signed with the St. Louis Cardinals as a free agent.
I’ll be rooting for Miller to have success in St. Louis. He’s had a lot of history with the Rays. He was with the team during the bleak years of 2004 and 2005, then he played in Houston for two years, and he returned to Tampa Bay for the historic 2008 season. Miller was never a star, and not even close, but he filled the role of a specialist in the bullpen to face left-handed hitters in the late innings. And he seemed like a genuinely nice guy.
The role of a left-handed relief specialist is not a glorious one. They enter close games and they’re usually asked to only get one or two batters out. Nobody notices when they are successful at their job, but when they fail, they receive a lot of negative attention and blame. When Miller would come in and get a tough lefty out, I’d figure that he was just doing what he was supposed to do. When he’d give up a hit, I’d yell at the TV, “Come on Miller, you get paid millions and the only thing you have to do is get [insert name of crappy left-handed hitter here] out, and you can’t even freakin’ do that???”
Quietly though, Miller got the job done more often than he failed. He’ll be missed. The only lefty remaining in the Rays bullpen is J.P. Howell. David Price will be joining the starting rotation next year. Howell is really a setup man who can get both lefties and righties out. Grant Balfour is a righty who is very good against lefties, but the Rays will probably try to add another lefty either through free agency or a trade.