When the Seattle Mariners traded center fielder Austin Jackson to the Chicago Cubs earlier this week, it had everything to do with their desire to evaluate talent for the future. One of the players affected by the changes is Brad Miller, who has shifted around the field for the M’s this season whether he’s been at shortstop or in the outfield.
With the M’s looking for defensive consistency as they look ahead to 2016 and beyond, they plan to give Miller a substantial evaluation this final month to see whether he’s an option for the position or not.
On Tuesday, interim general manager Jeff Kingston told 710 ESPN Seattle that the team is hopeful of Miller’s ability level: "I think we feel if Brad Miller plays most days out in center field, we will have a pretty good feel of whether or not he will be capable of manning that position in 2016, or is that something that we really need to go out and seek to upgrade in the offseason?"
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Shannon Drayer pointed out that Seattle outfield coach Andy Van Slyke liked what he saw in Miller’s drills in the outfield and thought a position switch could be feasible. As a result he’ll get a chance to show if he can make it out there in center as an option for the future.
Said Kingston of what the team will be looking for with Miller: "The jumps he gets on balls, the instincts he has reading the ball off the bat and just his overall route efficiency,. How efficient is he at tracking balls? Is he doing a lot of S-curves or is he doing a lot of straight lines? We know he is fast enough. How are his instincts and can he be efficient enough running after balls?"
They’ll know soon enough if they can count on Miller manning center for the future or not.