It's not the big fish move Los Angeles Dodgers fans were hoping for ahead of the trade deadline, but Andrew Friedman is doing all he can to keep the bullpen afloat before that time comes. On Wednesday during the All-Star break, he worked out a deal with the Milwaukee Brewers.
After designating Tyson Miller for assignment last week, the Brewers traded the right-hander to the Dodgers for cash considerations. The corresponding move to make room for Miller on the Dodgers' 40-man roster came in the form of Daniel Hudson being transferred to the 60-day injured list, meaning the earliest he can return would be the beginning of September.
Not to be pessimistic, but Dodgers fans have likely seen the last of the right-hander, who suffered a sprained MCL in his return from a torn ACL and doesn't have a clear timetable for a return. He'll endure another lengthy recovery period and will likely be pressed up too close against the conclusion of the regular season to become an asset again.
Miller, who figures to be a short-term solution to prevent the Dodgers from burning out their bullpen arms, sports a five-pitch mix: four-seamer, slider, sinker, curveball and changeup. He mostly sits in the low 90s with his fastball and sinker. Perhaps there's a tweak Mark Prior can make to help Miller stick for a little while.
The right-hander has just 13 MLB games under his belt and lasted seven in Milwaukee before the Brew Crew cut the cord.
Dodgers trade for Brewers reliever Tyson Miller; Daniel Hudson to 60-day IL
Miller was effective as recently as 2021 at Triple-A Round Rock in the Rangers organization. That year, he pitched in 20 games (19 starts) and logged a 3.23 ERA and 1.21 WHIP with 65 strikeouts in 61.1 innings after the Cubs traded him to Texas.
He then struggled in 2022 at both Triple-A and in MLB with the Rangers, which led to his release. This year, though, he seemingly fully transitioned to a relief role after being a full-time starter for most of his career before becoming a swingman in 2021.
At best, it feels like Miller will help the Dodgers eat innings through July as they prepare for bigger and better acquisitions. At worst, he's just as ineffective as the bottom of the barrel relievers in the Dodgers' bullpen.
Time to hope for more teams to fall out of contention and sell bullpen assets, or else the Dodgers' pitching staff will be in trouble for the remainder of 2023.