Justin Miller (baseball, born 1977)

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Justin Miller
JustinMMiller.JPG
Miller pitching for the Florida Marlins in June 2007.
Relief pitcher
Born: August 27, 1977
Torrance, California
Died: June 26, 2013(2013-06-26) (aged 35)
Palm Harbor, Florida
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 12, 2002 for the Toronto Blue Jays
Last MLB appearance
July 18, 2010 for the Los Angeles Dodgers
Career statistics
Win–loss record 24–14
Earned run average 4.82
Strikeouts 300
Teams

Justin Mark Miller (August 27, 1977 – June 26, 2013) was an American professional baseball pitcher for various teams in Major League Baseball. Over a 15-year professional career, he appeared in 216 Major League games in seven seasons as well as 12 games in Nippon Professional Baseball, the highest level of the sport in Japan. He was also the inspiration for the "Justin Miller rule" requiring pitchers with arm tattoos to wear long-sleeved shirts.

Amateur career[edit]

Miller played in the 1992 Little League World Series with Torrance and played high school baseball with Torrance High School, where he was first team All-State and Conference player of the year as a Senior. He attended Los Angeles Harbor College and was a Junior College All-American in 1997.

Professional career[edit]

Colorado Rockies[edit]

Miller was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 5th round of the 1997 MLB Draft and made his professional debut with the short-season Class A Portland Rockies, helping them win the Northwest League championship. He then moved up to the Asheville Tourists (Class A) in 1998 and the Salem Avalanche (Class A Advanced) in 1999.

Oakland Athletics[edit]

Miller was traded by the Rockies to the Oakland Athletics on Dec. 13, 1999 (along with Jamey Wright and Henry Blanco) for Scott Karl and Jeff Cirillo. He spent most of 2000 and 2001 with the AAA Sacramento River Cats of the Pacific Coast League.

Toronto Blue Jays[edit]

Miller was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays on December 7, 2001 (along with Eric Hinske) for Billy Koch. He made his Major League debut on April 12, 2002 for the Blue Jays against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He pitched 2 23 innings of relief, hitting the first two batters he faced, and allowing a total of four hits and one run. He made his first ML start on April 27 against the Anaheim Angels, but lasted only 3 23 innings while giving up four runs. He appeared in 25 games with the Blue Jays in 2002, starting 18 of them and finishing 9-5 with a 5.54 ERA. He missed most of the 2003 season with a shoulder injury and returned in 2004, when he appeared in 19 games for the Blue Jays (15 starts) and went 3-4 with a 6.06 ERA. He then spent most of 2005 with the AAA Syracuse SkyChiefs, appearing in only one game for the Blue Jays.

Tampa Bay Devil Rays/Chiba Lotte Marines[edit]

He signed as a minor league free agent with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2006 and appeared in five games for their AAA affiliate, the Durham Bulls. He was then released and played for the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan, pitching in twelve games.

Florida Marlins[edit]

After a three-game stint with the Philadelphia Phillies AAA affiliate, the Ottawa Lynx, Miller signed a minor-league contract with the Florida Marlins.

He started the season at Triple-A Albuquerque and was recalled by the Marlins on May 19, 2007, after an injury to Ricky Nolasco. Although Miller had been a starter in previous seasons, the Marlins used him to fill a relief role, with former closer Byung-Hyun Kim taking Nolasco's spot in the starting rotation. The Marlins released him on October 3, 2008.

San Francisco Giants[edit]

On November 1, 2008, the San Francisco Giants signed him to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. He made the Giants roster and appeared in 44 games out of the bullpen (long relief), 3-3, with a 3.18 ERA, for the Giants in 2009.

Los Angeles Dodgers[edit]

Miller was signed to a minor league contract which included an invitation to spring training by the Los Angeles Dodgers on December 4, 2009.[1] He was assigned to the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes to start the season. His contract was purchased by the Dodgers on May 27. He appeared in 19 games with the Dodgers, compiling a 4.44 ERA. He was designated for assignment on July 23.[2] He cleared waivers and was reassigned to Albuquerque. In 32 games for the Isotopes in 2010, he had a 1.95 ERA. He was granted free agency on October 6.

Seattle Mariners[edit]

On November 17, 2010, Miller signed a minor league contract with the Seattle Mariners. He was released by Seattle April 25, 2011.

Texas Rangers[edit]

Miller pitching for the Round Rock Express, Triple-A affiliates of the Texas Rangers, in 2011.

Miller signed a minor league contract with the Texas Rangers April 29. He was later released by the Rangers on June 6, 2011.

Return to Dodgers[edit]

On July 4, 2011, Miller signed a minor league contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers.[3] He pitched in three games for the Albuquerque Isotopes, walking four and allowing two runs in 1 23 innings for a 10.80 ERA. He was released on July 25.

Death[edit]

Miller was found dead in his Palm Harbor home on June 26, 2013. A cause of death has not been determined. He is survived by his wife of 15 years, Jessica, and two sons.[4]

Tattoos[edit]

Miller was known for his many tattoos. In a move sometimes called the "Justin Miller rule", Major League Baseball told Miller that he had to wear a long-sleeved shirt under his jersey whenever he was playing because hitters complained about being "distracted" by Miller's sleeve tattoos.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Dodgers come to terms with RHP Justin Miller on a minor-league deal". Los Angeles Times. December 4, 2009. Retrieved 4 December 2009. 
  2. ^ "Dodgers Blog". The Los Angeles Times. July 23, 2010. 
  3. ^ Polishuk, Mark. "Minor Moves: Simons, Miller, Corcoran, Hernandez". MLBTradeRumors.com. Retrieved 5 July 2011. 
  4. ^ "Ex-Blue Jay Justin Miller found dead". Sportsnet.ca. June 28, 2013. Retrieved June 28, 2013. 
  5. ^ Klemish, Dawn."Notes: Nolasco to rest on disabled list" "Miller is a colorful character in more ways than one: The 29-year-old's arms are all but hidden beneath vibrant tattoos. So much, in fact, that after opposing batters complained about Miller's arms being a "distraction" at the plate, in 2004, Major League Baseball established a rule that forced Miller to wear long sleeves whenever he played."..."I don't know," he laughed. "They just said it's the 'Justin Miller rule.'" mlb.com, 2007-05-19. Accessed 2007-09-20.

External links[edit]