Posted at 6:50 PM on April 11, 2008
by David Zingler
The Twins were rained out last night and may be again tonight. In any event, the game won't be televised, so I thought this would be a good time to check up on my old friend, Corky Miller.
Remember Miller, the goof ball, 3rd string catcher who went 0 for 12 in his short stint with the Twins back in 2005? Well, after toiling at Triple A most of the past three seasons, Miller made the Atlanta Braves Opening Day roster and is currently backing up Brian McCann.
It's been a long and winding road for the Cork Man since he left the Twins organization following the 2005 season. After going to spring training with Mariners in 2006, he was optioned to Triple A Tacoma where he played just two games before being released.
The Boston organization scooped him up a week later and sent him to Pawtucket just in time to watch then-Devil Rays prospect Delmon Young chuck his bat at an umpire. Miller just nonchalantly adjusted his mask and resumed his catching duties following the incident. The California native did get a short call-up with the big club in 2006, but appeared in just 1 game and went 0 for 4 with the Red Sox.
The journeyman backstop joined the Atlanta Braves organization in 2007 and was assigned to Richmond. On July 31, he got the call again and three days later he got his first big league hit since 2004: a pinch hit, infield single in the 12th inning off the Astros' Ron Mahay.
The 31-year-old spent the remainder of the season in the majors, picking up 6 more hits - including a homerun - to finish the season with a respectable .259 average (7 for 27). He was resigned by the Braves to a minor league contract in December and played well enough this spring to earn a spot on the big league roster.
Corky's a good defensive catcher which is why the Braves like him. With patience, his bat does come around eventually. While he's never going to be a .300 hitter, if he can keep his batting average somewhat respectable, the Braves will hold onto him for a bit. He's a good back up. He's also a great guy, so I'm glad he has this opportunity.