Closing Isn't Priority for Miller, Only Interest is Chance at World Series

Although he already has a ring, it came with him watching from the DL in 2013 and he's hungry for another shot.

December 21, 2018 - 3:05 pm
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Andrew Miller already has a World Series ring – but still feels like he's yet to "earn" the title of champion. 

The newest member of the St. Louis Cardinals bullpen was on the 2013 Boston Red Sox championship team, which defeated St. Louis. But he pitched in just 38 games that season and none in the playoffs due to an injury.

Related: Cardinals Sign Andrew Miller to 2-Year, $25 Million Deal

"I've been very fortunate that I've had a lot of great experiences, but I've never been a healthy contributing member of a World Series team and that's absolutley the Holy Grail, that's the box I want to check," Miller says. "It's not hard to look at the Cardinals history and their intentions on this day that we're at right now to know that's the goal. 

"That's what I want to be a part of and I didn't want to go anywhere that I didn't think it was realistic."

President of baseball operations John Mozeliak is seem has proved to the league that he he, general manager Mike Girsh and chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. really are throwing their chips into 2019. 

Related: Mozeliak on The Most Interesting Position for the Cardinals: RF

The acquisition of Paul Goldschmidt is one thing that proved it to Miller. 

"Any team that goes out and gets Goldy, I know what their intentions are," Miller says. 

Miller comes to St. Louis after a very down (by his standards) performance in 2018. He finished last season with a 4.24 ERA, 45 strikeouts, 10 holds, 2 saves and 3 blown saves. But he's also a two-time All-Star, who between 2016-2017 he had the second-best ERA in baseball among pitchers who threw at least 100 innings in that span.

A stint on the 60-day due to a knee injury didn't help last year, and it was something St. Louis reportedly was very thorough in checking out. Miller says it has been "figured out."

"(Our team physician) has a lot of confidence in where Andrew is at this point and believes that the knee is a non-issue moving foward," Mozeliak says. "There is a treatment program in place if needed ... You don't engage in these types of conversations if you think there's risk or serious doubt of him being able to perform at level we believe for him."

Although health may have been a big part of the conversation, it sounds like a bullpen role wasn't. Miller says he has no "resume" built up as a closer. Although he's been among the best arms in any given bullpen he was a part of, he's only had two seasons with double-digit save totals in his 13-year career.

"It's not always the ninth inning guy that has the most-important role or gets to be the guy that saves the day," Miller says. "We all want to contribute in a positive was and we all certainly have our egos, but I want to perform for a team that wins and I'm happy to be flexible." 

Mozeliak has already had conversations with manager Mike Shildt since the signing. 

"He's very excited about having that flexibility and how to think about utilizing the horsepower we have in that bullpen," Mozeliak says.