After a huge spring training that won him the Mariners’ starting shortstop job Brad Miller has struggled mightily, hitting .205 with a .599 OPS and 74/25 K/BB ratio in 86 games. He had a strong June, but has followed that up with a horrendous July, and now it looks like the Mariners are ready to consider an alternative.
Seattle called up Triple-A shortstop Chris Taylor, who hit .328 with five homers and an .894 OPS in 75 games for Tacoma. At this point giving Miller some competition is a worthwhile idea and Taylor is known for having a good glove, but he also struggled to control the strike zone at Triple-A with a 74/35 K/BB ratio and he’s totaled just 15 homers in 258 pro games.
Also, just for the record: Miller batted .410 with four homers, 14 total extra-base hits, and a 1.314 OPS in 21 games this spring. There’s a reason those games don’t mean anything, difficult as that may be to remember each year.
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The Fernando Rodney Experience hasn’t been a good one for the Twins thus far. The veteran closer served up three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to the Yankees on Thursday afternoon, erasing a 4-1 lead and blowing his third save in five opportunities.
In the ninth, Didi Gregorius reached on a throwing error by Miguel Sano. Giancarlo Stanton then singled, and Gary Sanchez followed up with a walk-off three-run home run.
Rodney, 41, now sports a 6.75 ERA on the year. He inked a one-year, $4.5 million contract with the Twins back in December. The club has an option for next year worth $4.25 million. If things keep going the way they’re going, the Twins aren’t going to want to pick up that option.
The Twins may even want to think about moving Ryan Pressly or Addison Reed into the closer’s role, even if just temporarily. Pressly has been terrific, tossing 13 scoreless innings with 18 strikeouts. Reed has a 2.25 ERA with 12 strikeouts in 12 innings.