This morning the Red Sox were reportedly close to trading left-handed reliever Andrew Miller to the Tigers, but that deal apparently fell through because now Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports that Miller has been sent to the Orioles.
Miller never developed into the top-of-the-rotation starter many expected, but the impending free agent has become a dominant reliever with a 2.78 ERA, .191 opponents’ batting average, and 168 strikeouts in 113 innings since 2012.
Zach Britton has 21 saves with a 1.65 ERA since taking over the Orioles’ closer gig, so his grip on ninth-inning duties seems secure, but Miller should see plenty of late-inning action in high-leverage situations for Baltimore.
In exchange for Miller the Red Sox receive minor-leaguer Eduardo Rodriguez, a 21-year-old left-hander with a 4.79 ERA and 69/29 K/BB ratio in 83 innings at Double-A. His stock has dipped somewhat this season, but Rodriguez ranked as one of Baseball America’s top 100 prospects coming into year and looks like a relatively steep price to pay for two months of relief help.
Major League Baseball has announced the umpiring crew for the World Series. John Hirschbeck is the crew chief. It’s his fifth World Series assignment, third as a crew chief.
A surprising name on the crew is Joe West. It’ll be his sixth World Series overall, but first since 2012. There had been chatter for several years that Major League Baseball was making a more concerted effort to get its best umpires into the World Series more often while minimizing the appearances of its weakest umpires. Most assumed West’s absence from the Fall Classic in recent years, despite his seniority, was a function of that. Maybe they’re still making merit a priority and maybe West has just improved? I’ll leave that for you to judge.
Anyway, here is the lineup of umps for Game 1. They will rotate after that, of course. If the series goes six games, Cowboy Joe will be calling the balls and strikes:
Home plate: Larry Vanover
1B: Chris Guccione
2B: John Hirschbeck
3B: Marvin Hudson
LF: Tony Randazzo
RF: Joe West
Replay Official for Games 1-2: Sam Holbrook (with assistance from Todd Tichenor)
Replay Official for Games 3-7: Larry Vanover (with assistance from Todd Tichenor)