No. 1 Pick Aaron Miller Shut Down in AFL

The Dodger's #1 draft pick, Aaron Miller, has been injured or shut down in the Arizona Fall league; Dodgers' minor league field coordinator Mike Brumley has been signed by Seattle as their first base coach, lefty Alberto Bastardo is drawing rave reviews in winter ball and Brad Mills, former manager of Albuquerque in the Dodgers minor league system, is the new manager of the Houston Astros.

Dodgers PR guru said the Dodgers' #1 Pick out of Baylor, has suffered an oblique strain and was taken off the Arizona Fall League roster.

At the same time, the True Blue LA.com site points out that Baseball America, "The Dodgers shut down lefthahnder Aaron Miller as planned after three appearances in which the 2009 supplemental first-round pick yielded only one run in 4.1 innings.

"In his brief stint, the Baylor product drew raves from many in the scout section at his games. One scout in particular wondered aloud how Miller had gotten past the first round before being selected with the 36th overall pick."

"So my guess is that they used the "oblique strain" as an excuse to shut him down because I don't think you can just switch guys on and off of the AFL roster as you please."

Diamond Leung posted on his website diamond83@gmail.com, that:

v Catcher Luke May and pitcher Javy Guerra have been named to the Arizona Fall League's Rising Star Showcase. . The game can be seen on MLB Network this Saturday.

v Pitcher Alberto Bastardo was re-signed to a minor-league contract, and pitching coordinator Rafael Chaves likes him so much that the left-hander's winter ball innings in Venezuela will be limited. Bastardo pitched on three levels last season, reaching Triple-A Albuquerque.

v Mike Brumley is out as the organization's field coodinator after accepting the major league first base coaching job with the Mariners. The Dodgers will be getting their third field coordinator in as many years.

v Jamie Hoffmann was scuffling in the Dominican Republic until breaking out on Sunday with a 3-for-5, 2-RBI day for Leones del Escogido. .

The 52-year-old Mills has been Terry Francona's bench coach in Boston for the past six seasons. He'll manage in the majors for the first time, though he's managed a total of 11 seasons in the minors, with affiliates for the Cubs (1987-92), Rockies (1993-96) and and Los Angeles (2002).

The Astros fired Cecil Cooper on Sept 21. Third-base coach Dave Clark served as interim manager for the final 13 games and Houston finished 74-88. Clark was one of 10 candidates to interview for the full-time position, and he spoke for a second time with the team on Tuesday.

The Astros made an offer to former Nationals manager Manny Acta over the weekend, but Acta accepted the Cleveland offer instead.

To Be or Not to Be, What is it Manny?
Manny Ramirez has a player option with the Dodgers for 2010 at a salary of $20 million, and must notify the Dodgers of his decision on or before Nov. 10, or five days after the World Series ends, whichever is later.

Will Manny opt out to sign as a designated hitter in the American League as some L.A. papers have reported? Or will he give it another shot in Los Angeles, knowing that he will have a hard time reaching the $20 million salary guaranteed if he returns?

One thing you can bet on. The decision will come within minutes of the deadline.

Ramirez, at 37 years old, has told teammates that the pounding his legs absorb playing the outfield is taking a toll, which might help explain his late-season offensive fade. He suggested that he ought to be a designated hitter.

But Manny looked every minute of his 37-years over the final weeks, having trouble with hard stuff up and in plus losing his usually sharp eye for the strike zone.

Did the pitch off his elbow slow him down? Has he lost interest? Did he work out at all over the 50-game suspension? You didn't see that impish smile over the final month or so.

Can his agent Scott Boras drum up interest in the outfielder? He had little interest last season. How that market will develop -- or not -- will be an interesting sidebar to the coming season.

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