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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Dave Miller, Sinker Guy - 1411

Years after his playing days ended, The Cleveland Plain Dealer asked Dave Miller what kind of pitcher he was.

"I was a sinker/slider guy," Miller told The Plain Dealer in 2012. "Jason Bere [Indians special assistant], when we go golfing, looks at my legs and says, 'You were a sinker guy.' I made it to Class AAA and had some shoulder injuries that derailed me, but I wanted to stay in the game."

Miller spoke to The Plain Dealer having stayed in the game by then for two decades as both a coach and coordinator. He also spoke to The Plain-Dealer having reached the spot he never could get to as a player, the majors, as 2012 bullpen coach for the Indians.

Miller's career in the game began 1986, taken by the Orioles in the first round of the January secondary draft out of Camden County College in New Jersey.

With the Orioles, Miller started at rookie Bluefield, going 6-4, with a 3.28 ERA over 13 starts. He returned to Bluefield for 1987, going 0-9 with a 5.49 ERA over 12 starts that season.

Miller moved to short-season Erie and single-A Hagerstown for 1988, then single-A Frederick for 1989. With Frederick, Miller went 13-4, with a 2.88 ERA. He picked up his final win in late August, with a 7-2 win over Prince William.

Miller moved to AA Hagerstown in 1990, he also turned into a reliever. In 24 outings, seven starts, Miller picked up seven saves and a 2.81 ERA.

Miller got his first look at AAA Rochester in 1991, a single game. For 1992, Miller got 25 outings at Hagerstown and 12 more at Rochester. That June, at Hagestown, Miller set down 14-straight in a loss. It was his final year as a player.

It was in 1993 that Miller started his coaching career, taking over as pitching coach with the Indians at rookie Burlington.

Miller has been with the Indians in one capacity or anther since, serving as a minor league pitching coach through 1999, then turning scout and major league bullpen coach. For 2013, Miller is back to being an Indians scout.

In April 2012, Miller recalled to The Plain Dealer watching over former Indians prospect Cliff Lee as Miller served as team minor league pitching coordinator.

"I once saw Cliff throw a 40-pitch bullpen session," Miller told The Plain Dealer. "When he was done, there was just one foot print on the mound. He'd landed in the same spot on every pitch. That's the sign of an athlete."
1990 Minor Leaguer Tally  
Players/Coaches Featured:1,147
Made the Majors: 667 - 58.2%
Never Made Majors: 480-41.8%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 289
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 173

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