The Dodgers on Thursday acquired pitcher Tyson Miller from the Brewers for cash considerations, the latest attempt to pluck a player from roster limbo in hopes they might eventually contribute.
Miller pitched seven games in relief for Milwaukee this season, allowing six runs on nine hits in 9⅓ innings for a 5.79 ERA with seven strikeouts and three walks. He was designated for assignment by the Brewers on Saturday.
The right-hander has pitched in parts of three seasons in the majors, including 2020 with the Cubs and 2022 with the Rangers before this year, putting up a 7.92 ERA in 25 innings, with 15 strikeouts and 14 walks. Miller is from Southern California, playing baseball at Shadow Hills High School in Indio and in college at Cal Baptist in Riverside. He was drafted by the Cubs in the fourth round in 2016.
Miller, who turns 28 on July 29, has been optioned three times this season, going back and forth between Milwaukee and Nashville. While in Triple-A this season, Miller has a 3.86 ERA in 15 games, with 27 strikeouts and 10 walks in 25⅔ innings.
He was designated for assignment from the majors, so if the Dodgers send Miller to Oklahoma City it would be his fourth option this season. Miller will be out of option years after this season, having also exhausted option years in 2021 and 2022.
Should Miller pitch for the Dodgers this season, he’d join Shelby Miller and Bobby Miller as the first trio of Millers to play for the team in the same season. There have been 14 players with the surname Miller in Dodgers history.
While it’s easy to roll one’s eyes at what is likely a marginal upgrade at best, we’ve seen over the past two months that the Dodgers could use as many fresh arms as possible, ranking 20th in MLB with 4.70 runs allowed per game and a 4.43 bullpen ERA that is 23rd in the majors.
The goal of these types of moves is to add talent whenever possible, and hope that in the volume of the rough, a diamond will appear. Evan Phillips had a 7.58 career ERA when he was claimed off waivers from the Rays in August 2021, and has turned into one of the best relievers in baseball since with a 1.82 ERA.
So far this season the Dodgers have combed the pitcher scrap heap to claim Zack Burdi off waivers, trade for Ricky Vanasco, sign Ryan Brasier to a minor league deal after he was released by the Red Sox, and call up to the majors seven pitchers who were non-roster invitees from outside the organization in spring training.
Neither Burdi nor Vanasco pitched with the Dodgers but are still in the organization, now off the 40-man roster after clearing waivers. So are non-roster pitchers Adam Kolarek, Jake Reed, and Wander Suero. Dylan Covey and Tayler Scott went elsewhere after a blip on LA’s major league radar. That latter quintet combined to allow 20 runs in 18⅔ innings with the Dodgers this season.
Brasier, though, has a 1.93 ERA in his eight appearances for the Dodgers, with nine strikeouts and three walks in 9⅓ innings.
To make room for Miller on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers moved Daniel Hudson to the 60-day injured list with a sprained MCL in his right knee.
There is still no exact timetable for Hudson, other than that he’ll miss a “significant” amount of time after suffering the injury last Wednesday, and that the hope is that he might return this season.
“I can’t put into words how frustrating, how disappointing this is for him,” manager Dave Roberts said on July 6. “It’s going to be quite some time.”
Placing him on the 60-day injured list means that the earliest possible date Hudson can return is September 4.