Brad Miller exited Tacoma Rainiers’ manager John Stearns’ office with a smile on his face. Of course, Miller has a smile on his face 90 percent of the time. But this one was different. This was the smile of a player that had just been told he’d achieved his life-long dream.
Following the Tacoma Rainiers’ 2-0 win, in which Miller hit a solo home run to extend his hitting streak to 22 games, he was notified by Stearns and a few other Mariners executives that he was being called up to join the Seattle Mariners on Friday.
“I didn’t even know what to say, honestly,” he said. “They pulled me in and told me. Still I don’t think it has set in yet. I’m just so thankful and excited.”
Miller will be at Safeco Field and likely in the starting line-up when Seattle opens a three-game series with the Chicago Cubs.
“I’m on cloud nine,” Stearns said. “I got to tell him that he was going to the big leagues for the first time. It brings tears to your eyes, that’s how good it is. He was crying, and it was a sensational moment. You get a few of those moments in your lifetime. I was able to tell David Wright that he was going to the big leagues for the first time when I was working for New York, and this was every bit as good or better than that: Brad Miller.”
To make room on the 25-man roster, Carlos Triunfel will likely be headed back to Triple A Tacoma. Current shortstop Brendan Ryan will slide to the back-up utility infield role. The Mariners also have to make room on the 40-man roster for Miller. They could put Franklin Gutierrez back on the 60-day disabled list with a strained hamstring, or designate a minor league player like Lucas Luetge for assignment.
Miller earned this promotion by putting up ridiculous offensive numbers since joining the Rainiers on May 25th.
After Thursday night’s win, Miller, 24, is hitting .356 with five doubles, six homers and 28 RBI. He has a .426 on-base percentage and a .596 slugging percentage.
He’s played in 26 games for Tacoma and reached base in every one of them.
The hitting streak started on May 29 at Colorado Springs and has continued. He had two hits on Thursday night.
“He’s definitely earned it,” Stearns said. “A 22-game hitting streak? Are you kidding me? He capped it off tonight with his last two at-bats.”
The Mariners drafted Miller out of Clemson in the second round of the 2011 draft.
Miller turned heads this spring with his energetic play and mature approach at the plate. He was one of the last players optioned out of big league camp. But starting the season in Double A and moving to the big leagues in three months is an accomplishment.
“I could definitely imagine it and I was hoping,” he said. “You just keep playing hard and let everything take care of itself. It’s surreal. It’s more than I can imagine.”