Friday, March 7, 2014
The Philadelphia Phillies just let Triple-A pitcher Brian Gordon go, despite a 5-0 record a 1.14 ERA for the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.
Gordon had an opt-out clause in his contract if he was not promoted to the majors, and the pitching-rich Phillies apparently had no room for him.
According to media reports out of New York, the Yankees will sign Gordon today and immediately insert him into the rotation.
Andrew Miller has to be watching all this unfold. Miller, 26, also has an opt-out clause in his contract, if the the Red Sox do not promote him to Boston from Pawtucket today.
Miller, a tall lefty with a mid- to high-90's fastball, can be electric. He can also be wild, although he has walked only one in his last three starts. That base-on-balls came Tuesday during another impressive outing: 5 1/3 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 10 K.
After his start, Miller told reporters in Pawtucket that he wants to be in the big leagues. If Boston does not do it, then obviously someone will be glad to take him.
So, what to do with Miller?
The Boston Globe's Peter Abraham reported that there are plans to add Miller as a starter in a six-man rotation.
It is possible that Miller takes on the Alfredo Aceves role of spot starter and long reliever.
Boston likes to give its starters an occasional rest. With John Lackey's elbow and Tim Wakefield's age (45 on Aug. 2), that may not be a bad idea.
After the All-Star break, the Red Sox play 56 games in 59 days. A guy like Miller would be helpful.
In that Pawtucket game, newly-promoted Ryan Lavarnway was 1-for-5 with an RBI.
Portland won 5-4 over Erie, despite being out-hit 15-6. The Sea Dogs' defense, which was terrible in their recent home stand, made no errors.
Sea Dogs starter Stephen Fife (7-3, 3.10) gave up 10 hits and 3 runs over 6 innings, walking 1, striking out 4 ... Blake Maxwell (1.06 ERA) continues to show that he should be back in Triple-A, getting his fifth save (1 2/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K).
Newly-promoted first-baseman Reynaldo Rodriguez hit a 3-run homer for Portland.
While waiting for Greenville first baseman Miles Head to be promoted to Salem, the Sox have the struggling Michael Almanzar (.182) at first for Salem. Almanzar went 0-for-4 on Tuesday.
Head (.338) was 4-for-5 for Greenville.Tweet
Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.
Follow his thoughts on the Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs on Clearing the Bases
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