Oakland – Mason Miller made his way onto the big league radar with an impressive showing in spring training. After dominating the first two weeks of the minor league season, his power arm is too much for players to ignore.
Miller, Oakland’s No. 3 prospect in the MLB Pipeline, joined the club on Tuesday and is expected to be officially added to the active roster in time for Wednesday’s series final start against the Cubs. The third round selection by the A’s in the 2021 MLB Draft will reach the Majors after just 11 games of the Minor League experience.
“I’d like to think I thought I was good enough to get here sooner than everyone expected, but I think even I’m a little surprised at how fast that was,” said Miller. “I will take the opportunity and run with it.”
Injuries have limited Miller’s opportunity to hit the minors. But the A’s saw enough in their assessment of the 6-foot-5 right-hander to suggest that a league promotion was a possibility at some point this season. In his 2023 Triple-A debut on Friday night, Miller pitched an impressive 11 strikeouts and walked no more than five unskilled innings, which sealed the deal.
“I watched every pitch Mason threw in Las Vegas last night, and if that isn’t making its way here, I don’t know what is,” said A’s general manager David Forrest. “He’s inexperienced and he’s young. He’ll have his ups and downs. But he’s incredibly talented, and a number of factors make him the right guy to be here tomorrow and start the game.”
Among them is the starting rotation of the struggling A’s who entered Tuesday with the A-League—worst 9.39 ERA as a staffer and tied for third in walks (40). Including 19 strikeouts and no walks in 8 2/3 innings this season, Miller holds a 2.83 ERA with 53 strikeouts and six walks in 28 2/3 innings during his minor league career.
Although the track record is not comprehensive, Miller has demonstrated the ability to throw batters consistently throughout his career.
“We need anything we can [get] Now to help stabilize the staff,” Forrest said. “We had a lot of nights where the Bulls were in the game in the third and fourth innings. … That had a snowball effect on the rest of the group.”
The fastball is an obvious ballpark in Miller’s arsenal. During that Friday outing in Las Vegas, it was frequently up to triple figures, with 23 of the 65 pitches clocking in at over 100 mph. Of those 23, only eight went for balls, which indicates that he is a flamethrower who also comes with the high command.
Miller also incorporated a cutter into his ensemble, which made headlines during a Cactus League outing this spring when Mariners player Sam Haggerty was left in disbelief after he dropped to one knee on an unbalanced swing. Miller threw this cutter 12 times on Friday night and maxed out at 98 mph.
Miller is bringing excitement as a potential ace of the future, and the plan is for him to remain a starting rotation for Oakland after his major league debut on Tuesday.
“I’m really excited,” said Miller. “Promoting on the big stage has obviously been a dream for as long as I can remember. To make that happen to me sitting in front of me, I’m honestly worried and ready to move on.”
As for the rest of the shift, manager Mark Kotsay said the situation remains volatile. James Caprillian, who was originally scheduled to start on Wednesday, was available from the database for Tuesday’s game against the Cubs.
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