When Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman were traded during the MLB trade deadline and handed in their Yankees pinstripes, they knew a reunion like the one taking place now could happen.
The Chicago Cubs open the World Series at Cleveland against the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday. Both the Cubs and Indians might have reached the Fall Classic without the trades that brought one of the best relievers in baseball to their respective teams, but each of the teams were helped by the two deals.
Miller and Chapman spent four months together as Yankees teammates and over the course of the upcoming series, their paths are sure to cross.
Miller was a key to the Indians winning the American League Championship Series as he played a number of roles out of the bullpen. He has done so well in each way that manager Terry Francona has used him, that now other teams were be looking to fill their bullpen with someone like Andrew Miller.
That will be a tough proposition since few pitchers will have Miller’s attitude, durability and stuff.
Thus far, Cleveland has played eight games during the postseason and Miller has appeared in six. His play had been dominating with 21 Ks in just 11 2/3 innings.
Miller told Francona when the Indians traded for him that a defined role to him was not important, he simply wanted to be used when the team needed him.
However, Chapman’s role with the Cubs was more traditional. Since becoming a Cub he has had 16 saves, never entered any game prior to the eighth inning and only worked one game longer than an inning.
Just prior to his acquisition, the Cubs had gone through a stretch of losing 19 of 31. Since Chapman was acquired, the Cubs went 44-18 the rest of the season.
Most baseball pundits considered Chicago baseball’s best team since the start of the season and adding Chapman to the roster solidified that thought process even more.
Before the 2016 World Series concludes, both Chapman and Miller could both becomes well known. Few pitchers have thrown with the velocity that Chapman has and few have held the role now occupied by Miller.
Time will tell which of the two former New York Yankees teammates will be a World Series winner. However, both will play a big role in giving their team the best possible opportunity to win starting Tuesday.