Paul Wezner, Senior Editor
It was said when the Tigers drafted him that Andrew Miller had a 'big league arm', and was not only the most talented pitcher, but also the 'most polished'. Miller will prove all those things right when he makes his big league debut in the coming days. I never questioned whether or not Miller could hang with big league hitters, but I still don't see him being used in tight game situations, at least not this season. Not only has he pitched a full college season, but he hasn't even gotten the opportunity to compete against more polished minor league hitters, so having him face Jason Giambi with two out and runners at the corners protecting a one run lead might be a bit too much. As for next season, he'll return to the minors, but I wouldn't imagine he'll be gone long. A half season of double-A ball should suffice for Miller to make it back to Detroit.
Mark Anderson, Associate Editor, Minor Leagues
I think you'll see Andrew Miller perform surprisingly well coming down the stretch for the Tigers. In fact, I won't be completely shocked if he makes the post-season roster at some point this fall. He's got the blazing fastball you need come October, a slider that will make your knees buckle, and the poise to pitch in big situations. His first outing or two may be a little rough, but I think he'll get plenty of chances. With Wil Ledezma likely to get some starts down the stretch, Miller will come in handy as the second bullpen lefty, and could actually become a valuable bullpen cog in short order. As for next season, I think he's destinted to start in AAA. Unless there is significant roster turnover at the Major League level this off-season, I just don't see room for him. He should help anchor the Toledo rotation from day one, and will likely be up for good by some time late in the 2007 season.
Jason Avery, Associate Editor, Amateur Baseball
I think Miller will be fine and I also think he could be a big factor for the Tigers and their postseason hopes. He can really be effective in one or two inning stints, and can be a bridge to the late-inning relievers should a starter go only four or five innings. Should the Tigers make it to the playoffs, they could put Miller on the playoff roster and really shorten the game. Think about this. The Tigers could have Miller, Joel Zumaya, Fernando Rodney, Jamie Walker, and Todd Jones to close games out. When you have that kind of flexibility, the Tigers can matchup pretty nicely in the late innings against the opposition's bench, and if you get a great outing from the starter, they can be even more effective. As far as next year goes, I think he'll start in the minors, but if he has a dynamite spring, he could force his way into the Tigers' plans.
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