The Athletics claimed outfielder Jai Miller off waivers from the Marlins and optioned him to Triple A, according to the team's Twitter feed. Miller had been designated for assignment five days ago, as the Marlins cleared spots for Mike Lamb and Jose Veras.
Miller, 25, hit .289/.360/.510 in his second Triple A stint for the Marlins last year, playing right and center field. Back in their '08 Handbook, Baseball America said his doubters wonder if "Miller isn't merely the next Reggie Abercrombie, a tools-laden player whose skills never fully transferred to the diamond." Two years later, they wrote that "some in the organization still see him as a late bloomer with Mike Cameron characteristics."
This is a good thing for Jai. He’ll have an opportunity with this team who is willing to take a chance (as shown with their entire infield). As for Reggie, I’m not sure if the rap on him is necessarily just. The past few seasons he was invited to spring training with a chance to make the club, either with the Astros or Reds. Each of the years, he performed well, hitting over .300 and his last Spring Training, batted over .400. Unfortunately, he was a bit blocked on the Astros, who have a preference for experience over rookies. Particularly, it made it even more difficult trying to surpass established outfielders Hunter Pence, Bourn, and Lee. I hope all is not lost for him or Jai. Both have some great talent.
The A’s are willing to take chances on younger players, but their OF right now is over packed and Michael Taylor is next in line for a starting job, the only way I see him getting a legitimate opportunity is if he really impresses people in the organization and makes one of their current outfielders a trade chip in the next year or two.