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Former starter Miller thriving as full-time reliever

OAKLAND -- After years of struggling to maintain consistency as a starting pitcher, lefty Andrew Miller has thrived in his first full year as a reliever.

Miller entered Monday night's game against the Athletics with a 2-0 record and a 1.89 ERA in 23 outings this season. Opponents are hitting .172 against him.

"One of the MVP's [of our team] thus far," said manager Bobby Valentine. "Everybody talks about our bullpen. Andrew has been able to be durable and be consistently good. He is a presence out of our bullpen, throwing 96 mph with a very good breaking ball."

How has Miller been able to make such improvements?

"He's been effective because our Triple-A guys did a fabulous job of eliminating his windup and eliminating the other motion that he had in his stretch," Valentine said. "And his efficiency of his delivery, I think, has allowed him to be very efficient in the strike zone."

Both Miller and righty reliever Vicente Padilla have done a tremendous job stranding inherited runners.

"It seems they both take a lot of pride in what they're doing and they relish those opportunities," said Valentine. "When I look them in the eye when they come into the game, obviously I'm looking to different sets. One very experienced, one not experienced at all, but I see the same message and that's, 'Give me the ball. I'm ready for the action.'"

Full Game Coverage
OAK Full Game Coverage LAND -- After years of struggling to maintain consistency as a starting pitcher, lefty Andrew Miller has thrived in his first full year as a reliever.

Miller entered Monday night's game against the Athletics with a 2-0 record and a 1.89 ERA in 23 outings this season. Opponents are hitting .172 against him.

"One of the MVP's [of our team] thus far," said manager Bobby Valentine. "Everybody talks about our bullpen. Andrew has been able to be durable and be consistently good. He is a presence out of our bullpen, throwing 96 mph with a very good breaking ball."

How has Miller been able to make such improvements?

"He's been effective because our Triple-A guys did a fabulous job of eliminating his windup and eliminating the other motion that he had in his stretch," Valentine said. "And his efficiency of his delivery, I think, has allowed him to be very efficient in the strike zone."

Both Miller and righty reliever Vicente Padilla have done a tremendous job stranding inherited runners.

"It seems they both take a lot of pride in what they're doing and they relish those opportunities," said Valentine. "When I look them in the eye when they come into the game, obviously I'm looking to different sets. One very experienced, one not experienced at all, but I see the same message and that's, 'Give me the ball. I'm ready for the action.'"

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Boston Red Sox