OAKLAND — Mason Miller blasted 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 electric arm became too hard for the A’s to ignore.
Miller, Oakland’s No. 3 prospect per MLB Pipeline, joined the club on Tuesday and is expected to be officially added to the active roster in time to start Wednesday’s series finale 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 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 quickly it’s been. was,” Miller said. “I will take the opportunity and run with it.”
Injuries limited Miller’s ability to pitch in the minors. But the A’s had seen enough in their assessment of the 6-foot-5 right-hander to make it clear that promotion to the major league was possible at some point this season. Making his 2023 Triple-A debut on Friday night, Miller’s dazzling performance of 11 strikeouts and no walks in five no-hitter innings sealed the deal.
“I watched all the pitches Mason threw in Las Vegas the other night, and if that doesn’t force your way here, I don’t know what does,” said A’s general manager David. Forest. “He is inexperienced and he is young. It will have ups and downs. But he’s incredibly talented, and a number of factors made him the right guy to be here tomorrow and start the game.
Among those factors is the starting rotation of a struggling A who entered Tuesday with a Major League-worst 9.39 ERA as a staff and tied for third-most walks ( 40). Including his 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 extensive, Miller has shown his ability to consistently throw strikes throughout his professional career.
“We need everything we can (get) right now to help stabilize the staff,” Forst said. “We’ve had too many nights where the bullpen has been in the game in the third and fourth innings. … It had a snowball effect on the rest of the group.
Fastball is a standout field in Miller’s arsenal. During this Friday outing for Las Vegas, he frequently hit triple digits, with 23 of his 65 throws registering over 100 mph. Of those 23, only eight went for bullets, showing that he’s a flamethrower that also comes with supreme command.
Miller has also incorporated a cutter into his repertoire, which made headlines during a Cactus League outing this spring when he left Mariners outfielder Sam Haggerty in disbelief after falling to one knee on an unbalanced swing. and failed. Miller threw this cutter 12 times on Friday night and hit a maximum of 98 mph.
Miller brings excitement as a potential ace of the future, and the plan is for him to remain in Oakland’s starting rotation beyond his Major League debut on Tuesday.
“I’m really excited,” Miller said. “As long as I can remember, launching on the big stage has obviously been a dream. To have that sitting in front of me, I’m honestly anxious and ready to go.
As for the rest of the rotation, manager Mark Kotsay said the situation remains fluid. James Kaprielian, who was originally scheduled to start on Wednesday, was available outside the bullpen for Tuesday’s game against the Cubs.