After spending the 2011 season bouncing between Boston and Pawtucket's bullpen, the southpaw was looking to reclaim a spot in the rotation. It was similar to when he pitched in the Marlins' rotation for three years.
Amid the competition, Miller was sidelined with a hamstring injury. Before long, his starting aspirations disappeared and the 27-year-old landed back in Triple-A, where he sharpened his skills.
Now, a month and a half since his promotion to the Red Sox, Miller is bolstering the Red Sox bullpen. Through 14 appearances, the lefty owns a 1.93 ERA and has surrendered a mere six hits and three runs.
In order to achieve that success, Miller needed to focus on his stretching –– both with his hamstring and arm.
"It's important to get innings and get settled in and stretch out your arm and get used to those different things," Miller said. "I needed that time [in Pawtucket]. I used the last 30 days [there] as my spring training."
When Miller was in Triple-A, he also learned to develop a routine. As he adjusted to life in the bullpen, the hurler was determined to move around –– to keep his body fresh –– with frequency while eating innings.
It strays from the habits he developed as a starter in Detroit and Miami. With the added stretching and constant movement, Miller returned to the majors in May ready for any circumstances.
"I've gotten chances to warm up and sit down and warm up," Miller said. "I've gotten to warm up in the cold and the rain. I've thrown multiple innings, started innings, finished innings. All that stuff, it's been nice to work some of that stuff out and get used to it. All of it has gone pretty smoothly."
These days, his hamstring is healthy and his arm has been effective.
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) is offering 100 healthy tips to celebrate Fenway Park’s centennial. Visit 100pitches.org to learn more.
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