Drew Miller changing it up

The changeup. It comes so easy to some – not so to others. Ten of the homers Drew Miller surrendered in 2007 came off his changeup. That doesn't inspire confidence in the pitch. But – Miller has made significant strides since then.

Last year, you battled injuries all year. You come into this year healthy. That has to be a plus.

Drew Miller: Not having to worry about little things going on is a whole lot better than being in the training room.

When you look back at last year, despite all the injuries, do you view it as a successful campaign? I imagine it is tough to get into rhythm when you are in and out of the lineup.

Drew Miller: We were taught to look at the positives. I had some negatives and had some positives so I just try and focus on the positives and learn from the negatives.

Is there something specific you wanted to work on this spring?

Drew Miller: I am trying to work on the changeup. It is coming along pretty well. It is slowing down pretty good.

It is coming at it every day and working on it – playing long toss with it. Every single day working on it and eventually it comes around – I guess.

Is it a frustrating process for you?

Drew Miller: Oh yea. You look at my numbers in Fort Wayne and I gave up 12 home runs – 10 of them were changeups. It is frustrating but I know it is a pitch I have to throw so I have to work on it.

You go into games knowing you surrendered 10 homers on changeups. Can you have that faith and trust in the pitch?

Drew Miller: Absolutely. I have to. It is a pitch that I know I won't be successful with (right now) at the big league level. I would rather fail in the minor leagues or have a little bit of failure and learn from it.

How is the location of the two-seamer coming along – another pitch we talked about during Instructs.

Drew Miller: I have been working on that a lot too. It has been really good. It was really good in the off-season and died out here a little but will come back around.

All hitters can hit a four-seam fastball so the two-seam is a little bit more deceptive and harder to hit and will get some ground balls.

Do you feel like you have the repertoire now to face righties and lefties? It seemed like righties were able to get the best of you at times.

Drew Miller: It was a little backwards. I was better against lefties than righties. I think pitching inside more is something I have to do and working from there.

Pitching inside seems like it should be sort of natural. Is there a tendency to back off a little thinking you might hit a guy with the run of a pitch?

Drew Miller: I think it is that I have been concentrating so much on low and away that I haven't been working on throwing inside. I have been working on both now and they are coming along.

What are the expectations for you this season?

Drew Miller: Hopefully, I will have a good year and stay in Lake Elsinore all year or get a late callup to San Antonio. We will see how the season goes.

What is the basis of a successful season?

Drew Miller: Build off what I did last year. For me it is mainly walks – keep my walk totals down. I don't care about strikeouts or anything like that. They will come whenever it is necessary. Keep the walks down.

It was two years ago in Instructs you won the three pitches or less award for efficiency. Did you feel like you got away from that?

Drew Miller: A little bit last year. Whenever I came in I was really working on getting hitters out and not worrying about anything else.

Last year, I started worrying more about numbers and strikeouts, which is something you shouldn't do. I learned from it and this year I am coming back in worrying about ground balls, no walks, and let my fielders do their work.

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