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Miller all for Chapman closing if it helps Yanks

Main goal for returning lefty is to win World Series in pinstripes
MLB.com @BryanHoch

NEW YORK -- When Aroldis Chapman puts on his Yankees uniform and steps on a bullpen mound for the first time, Andrew Miller plans to be close by. He wants to see -- and hear -- how that 104 mph fastball hits the catcher's glove.

Miller saved 36 games last season, but the 30-year-old left-hander will return to a setup role following the Yankees' acquisition of Chapman from the Reds this offseason. Miller said he doesn't mind giving up the title of closer if it means a better chance at a World Series ring.

NEW YORK -- When Aroldis Chapman puts on his Yankees uniform and steps on a bullpen mound for the first time, Andrew Miller plans to be close by. He wants to see -- and hear -- how that 104 mph fastball hits the catcher's glove.

Miller saved 36 games last season, but the 30-year-old left-hander will return to a setup role following the Yankees' acquisition of Chapman from the Reds this offseason. Miller said he doesn't mind giving up the title of closer if it means a better chance at a World Series ring.

"Certainly, they felt like more firepower can help us reach the goals," Miller told WFAN's Mike Francesa on Wednesday. "And if that's what it takes to get there, then I'm all for it."

Only three relievers rang up more than 100 strikeouts last season, and the Yanks now have them all fitted for pinstripes, with Chapman (116) joining Dellin Betances (131) and Miller (100). The envisioned power bullpen combined for a 1.70 ERA in 212 innings last year, and Miller said he's happy to be a part of it.

"I came here to play for the Yankees," Miller said. "I had a choice to go there. My goal is to win. I've told people all along that there's no resume that I'm building. I'm not worried about some sort of milestone or Hall of Fame case or anything like that.

"I'm just trying to go out there and win, and I think at the end of my career, I'll appreciate the winning teams I was on and hopefully having some rings to look back on. That's what is most important to me."

Video: CWS@NYY: Miller strikes out LaRoche to end the game

Miller resides in Tampa, Fla., and he has been working out with pitching coach Larry Rothschild at the Yanks' complex. Miller will travel to New York for the 36th annual Thurman Munson Awards dinner on Tuesday, where he and Brian McCann are among those to be honored.

Miller said that adding Chapman should alleviate some stress on the bullpen. Betances, in particular, has been worked hard -- in 144 appearances over the past two seasons, he leads big league relievers with 2,735 pitches thrown (1,370 last year).

"Hopefully if we can kind of split up some of the innings a little bit and stay healthy and make it to the end, make it to the finish line in good shape, then it's going to be good for all of us," Miller said.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.

 

New York Yankees, Dellin Betances, Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller