The 35-year-old specialist struck out 44 batters in 43.1 innings while walking twenty. Left-handed hitters posted a line of .209/.302/.308 in 91 at bats. Miller was credited with two saves and 11 holds last season and when the game was close and late, opponents batted .167 with 17 strikeouts in 54 chances.
Miller became a free agent on November 4 after the Rays declined his $2 million option. During Tampa's pennant-winning season, he made $1.6 million, a $300,000 raise from his 2007 salary.
A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Miller was named Kentucky's Player of the Year and the Gatorade High School Player of the Year after a tremendous senior season at Trinity High School. The Detroit Tigers took him in the supplemental first round of the 1991 draft and he would forego college baseball to start his professional career.
On September 4, 1996, Miller made his Major League debut against the Chicago White Sox. That off-season, he would be involved in a nine-player deal between the Tigers and the Houston Astros. For two seasons, Miller pitched for the Astros' Triple-A affiliate before being traded to the Philadelphia Phillies.
Though Miller made the Phillies big league club out of spring training in 2000, he was placed on waivers, where the Los Angeles Dodgers picked him up on May 19. He made one appearance with the team before being sent back to Triple-A. During 2001, Miller pitched with the Boston Red Sox' Triple-A affiliate and would do the same in 2002 for the Cincinnati Reds.
The Toronto Blue Jays would be his organization in 2003, but this time Miller spent the whole season in the Majors. He appeared in a league high 79 games. After that season, the southpaw would extend his tour of duty to Tampa Bay. Miller spent two years in the Florida sun before returning to the Astros for the 2006 season. Over the next two seasons, Miller made 146 appearances for Houston. In 2007, he set a record 76 appearances without earning a decision, shattering the previous mark of 48. In all, the stretch would extend to a new modern record of 121 games.
Before the 2008 season, he returned to Tampa after signing a free agent contract.
In his career, Miller has appeared in 519 games while posting a 4.43 ERA. A true LOOGY, he has pitched 100 fewer innings than games played. Overall, he has posted a line of .235/.327/.382 in 863 match ups against left-handed hitters. At Busch Stadium III, he has a career a 4.50 ERA in six innings of work. In eight appearances at Wrigley Field, Miller has a 3.38 ERA in 5.1 career innings. Miller has never allowed an earned run at Miller Park in eight appearances.
With left-handed pitching being one of the Cardinals Achilles' heels during 2008, Miller is the third left-handed pitcher the team has acquired this off-season. Charlie Manning was claimed off waivers from the Washington Nationals and Ian Ostlund was signed to a minor league contract this week.
Dustin Mattison can be reached via email at email@example.com.
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