Wade Miller phone conference

Wade Miller Phone Conference
(with comments from Theo Epstein)

How you feeling?

The prognosis was I had a frayed right rotator cuff, sidelined me for the second half of the year this past year. Iím currently doing rehab, I started rehabbing the day I got home, Iíve been doing that three times a week, itís been going fairly well. I saw the doctor in Boston yesterday, he said everything looked good and I plan on throwing the first week of January. I start throwing as I normally would any other year, and I plan on going down to spring training a couple of weeks early to get ready down there, to start throwing outside, and get used to throwing outside. You have to hit the rehab hard and when the season starts you donít stop that. You have to keep going and doing the exercises and keeping the arm strong.

Why Boston?

I wanted to go to a good team. Obviously they have good pitching, I think I can be a good part of that. Theyíre the best team in baseball right now, I thought it was a good fit for me and my family. It didnít take long, they were aggressive, they wanted to get something done right away, and I was open to that. I know other teams had interest, but Iíd been to Boston before, itís a great city, great baseball town, and itís something I wanted to be a part of.

Pitching in the AL?

Iíve thought about it a little bit, you donít have the pitcher in there to ease the pain as they would say, skipping over the eight hitter to get to the pitcher, I realize that but itís a little bit harder. Iíve pitched against the Yankees, the Red Sox, and Kansas City a few times, so itís exciting. Iím ready for the challenge, Iím ready to face new hitters and see what I bring to the table.

Pitching in Boston?

Iíve pitched at Minutemaid for four years, that was a pitcherís park and Iím going to pitch the same as I do at any park, regardless of the dimensions of the ballfield, I just try to go out there and pitch my game and not try to think about the short left field. It might add a little bit more pressure to do well (the passion of the fans, World Series team), with  the new team and everything. They have great fans. I always loved coming to Boston. The passion and the love for baseball. I think itís very exciting. Iíve always thrived more when I pitched in Chicago than any other away ballpark.

Why non-tendered?

I was disappointed but I wasnít surprised. I knew it was a possibility. They had a decision to make. They felt they werenít going to take a risk on me thatís what I think. They made a decision, thereís no hard feelings there, but I played nine seasons there, itís tough to move on.

Theo speaks:

We looked at this as a great opportunity, one that was definitely worth our while. Itís not every day that you get a chance to acquire a guy whoís a potential top of the rotation starting pitcher. We think that we structured a contract thatís fair to both sides with relatively minimal risk if the injury provides more of a setback than we anticipate but thereís also upside for Wade if he goes out and does what we expect him to do and stays healthy all year. Heís a guy who impacts a pitching staff, and those guys are hard to come by in trade, let alone free agency.

Schilling, Clement, Wells, Miller, Arroyo, Wakefield, theyíre all starting pitchers. You can never assume health and readiness to go, so weíll be very fortunate if weíre in a situation where we have six guys ready to go and healthy at the same time, then Tito will have to make a decision and somebody will have to go to the pen but thatís in an ideal world. This protects us, in case we donít have somebody ready to go, we still have five starters to throw out there.

Iím prohibited by federal law, the Hippo regulations from going into any detail (Millerís exam, who examined him, etc.) about Wadeís medical condition. Iíll just say the latest exam shows full range of motion, excellent strength throughout the shoulder and rotator cuff and weíre very optimistic that heís going to have success when he starts throwing in the next couple of weeks.

BDD is a feature of Boston.com. All posts are by Steve Silva unless otherwise indicated.

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