Cotillo: Yankees re-sign Jim Miller to minor league contract

Via Chris Cotillo: The Yankees will re-sign right-hander Jim Miller to a minor league contract. I assume he’ll get an invitation to Spring Training. The team brought fellow righty David Herndon back on a minor league deal last month as well.

Miller, 31, appeared in one game for the Yankees in September, allowing three runs in 1.1 innings. He spent the majority of the season with Triple-A Scranton (3.55 ERA and 3.22 FIP in 63.1 innings) after being claimed off waivers from the Athletics last winter. In 64.2 career big league innings with the Yankees, A’s, and Rockies, Miller has a 2.78 ERA and 4.64 FIP. He’ll again head to Triple-A to serve as bullpen depth.

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Minors Notes: Defenders, Zagurski, Free Agents

(Layne Murdoch/Getty)
Lillibridge. (Layne Murdoch/Getty)

The Arizona Fall League season begins on Tuesday — the Yankees are sending seven players (roster), most notably OF Mason Williams, OF Tyler Austin, and LHP Vidal Nuno — while the various Caribbean winter leagues are still about a week away. Those rosters have not yet been released. Here’s a smattering of minor league notes for the time being:

  • In a subscriber-only piece, Matt Eddy looked at the best defensive players in the minors at the four up-the-middle positions. OF Mason Williams ranked 12th (out of 20) among center fielders by Eddy’s method while OF Slade Heathcott was an honorable mention. C Gary Sanchez was eighth among catchers thanks in part to his 45.9% success rate at throwing out attempted base-stealers. He “receives 80 throwing grades [on the 20-80 scale] from some scouts.”
  • LHP Mike Zagurski was removed from the 40-man roster and outrighted to Triple-A Scranton, reports Andy McCullough. He refused the assignment and elected free agency. The Yankees have one open 40-man spot now. Zagurski, 30, spent most of the year in Triple-A but was actually with the team in September. He appeared in one game and allowed two runs.
  • RHP Jim Miller, IF Alberto Gonzalez, and UTIL Brent Lillibridge all elected free agency, according to Eddy. None of the three were on the 40-man roster but they all played for the big league team at one point or another this summer. Gonzalez appeared in 13 games, the most of the bunch.
  • The Yankees have re-signed C Jose Gil, RHP Diego Moreno, and LHP Francisco Rondon, among others, to minor league contracts, reports Eddy. They became minor league free agents after the season. Moreno came over in the A.J. Burnett trade and Rondon, while still fringy, is the best prospect of the bunch.

Yankees outright Jim Miller to Triple-A Scranton

The Yankees have outrighted Jim Miller to Triple-A Scranton, the team announced. The right-hander was designated for assignment to clear a 40-man roster spot for Brendan Ryan about a week ago. He could have elected free agency but instead decided to remain with the team.

Miller, 31, allowed three runs in 1.1 innings of work against the Red Sox last week, his only appearance in pinstripes. He did have a pretty strong year with the RailRiders, pitching to a 3.55 ERA (3.22 FIP) with a 13.07 K/9 (33.6 K%) in 63.1 innings across 43 appearances. Miller had his moments with the Athletics last season (2.59 ERA and 4.74 FIP in 48.2 innings) and is probably worth keeping around in Triple-A next season. He will become a minor league free agent in a few weeks, so the decision to come back is his.

Game 146: Win it for Derek

(Patrick Smith/Getty)
(Patrick Smith/Getty)

The Yankees delivered some bad but not at all unsurprising news this afternoon. Derek Jeter‘s season is over due to lingering left ankle soreness, and he won’t return even if the team manages to claw its way into the postseason. I know as well as anyone that Jeter wasn’t exactly productive when he did play this year, but losing him is still a big blow in the grand scheme of things. No one wants to see Eduardo Nunez or Brendan Ryan in the lineup on a daily basis, especially in important late-season games. That’s what we’re stuck with, however. Here’s the lineup that will face right-hander Scott Feldman:

  1. CF Brett Gardner
  2. DH Alex Rodriguez
  3. 2B Robinson Cano
  4. LF Alfonso Soriano
  5. RF Curtis Granderson
  6. 3B Mark Reynolds
  7. 1B Lyle Overbay
  8. SS Brendan Ryan
  9. C Chris Stewart

And on the mound is left-hander Andy Pettitte. He’s been excellent in his last six starts (1.75 ERA), and with Ivan Nova coming back to Earth, Andy is the team’s best starter at this very moment. The Yankees need him to come up big tonight.

It is crazy hot in Baltimore, with temperatures in the low-90s and humidity that makes it feel like 100+. That’s mid-August weather, not mid-September weather. The important thing is that there is no rain in the forecast. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm ET and can be seen on YES. Enjoy.

Roster Update: Ryan has joined the team, obviously. Jim Miller was designated for assignment to clear a 40-man roster spot.

Injury Updates: David Robertson (shoulder) is indeed available tonight. That’s good news. … Boone Logan (elbow) is not feeling any better and isn’t close to returning. That’s bad news.

Update: Yankees call up Jim Miller, place Vidal Nuno on 60-day DL

12:57pm: To make room on the 40-man roster, Vidal Nuno was called up from Triple-A Scranton and placed on the 60-day DL. He’s been out since early-June with a groin injury and only recently started a throwing program.

11:11am: Miller has indeed been called up. No word on the corresponding 40-man move, but everyone who is supposed to be on the lineup card is there. Unless I’m missing someone obvious, an injured minor leaguer was called up and placed on the 60-day DL.

1:15am: Via Chris Cotillo: The Yankees will call up right-hander Jim Miller to help their injury-riddled bullpen prior to Sunday’s game. Matt Daley was called up Friday since David Robertson (shoulder), Shawn Kelley (triceps), and Boone Logan (biceps) are all sidelined with arm problems.

Miller, 31, pitched to a 3.55 ERA (3.22 FIP) with a 13.07 K/9 (33.6 K%) in 63.1 relief innings with Triple-A Scranton this summer. He has 63.1 career innings in the big leagues (2.42 ERA  and 4.42 FIP), mostly with the Athletics last year and some with the Rockies in 2011. The Yankees will need to clear a 40-man roster spot to accommodate Miller. Guys like Manny Banuelos, Jose Ramirez, and Vidal Nuno are candidates to be called up and placed on the 60-day DL, or they could just release the utterly useless Joba Chamberlain.