Tigers' top draft pick of '06 joins big-league club

NEW YORK -- That was quick.

After only three games with Class-A Lakeland, left-hander
Andrew Miller found himself in the Detroit Tigers' clubhouse at Yankee
Stadium on Tuesday night after being recalled by the AL Central

That's what nine strikeouts in five innings will do for you.

The 21-year-old Miller was Detroit's first-round pick (sixth
overall) in the June draft after going 13-2 with a 2.48 ERA in 20
games at North Carolina. He thought he might be called up by the
Tigers in September, but he was summoned even earlier after his
dazzling debut in Class-A.

"I got my feet wet," Miller said. "I got to see the smaller
strike zone than you see in college. I got to see wood bats. I'm
certain the approach of the hitters is quite different in A-ball
than it is here in the major leagues. Again, I just got my feet

"I won't be able to tell you what the outcome is here until
it's over with. I'll tell you in a couple of days, a month or
whatever. I can't tell you right now."

Detroit manager Jim Leyland gave an interesting scouting report
on the 6-foot-6 pitcher.

"He's a real handsome young kid," Leyland said. "He doesn't
have any gray whiskers, I can tell you that. A little baby face. He
seems like a very pleasant young man. He hasn't done anything but
eat since he's been here. He's in the big leagues now. There's a
little more available for you."

The youngster spent the hours before Tuesday night's rainout
shaking hands with his new teammates.

"I've been busy meeting everybody and getting acquainted," he

Leyland said he won't hesitate to use the lefty.

"We'll warm him up and put him in," he said. "See what he
looks like. We need it. Why not? I'll try to pitch him an inning or
so, depending on how it goes.

"I might have to watch pitching him two days in a row. I might
not do that right away. I probably won't pitch him back-to-back
right away."

Miller knows making his major league debut at Yankee Stadium
could be a challenge.

"I don't have much experience in pro ball," he said. "The
closest thing I can relate it to is during the College World
Series. I don't know if I can relate anything to this."

After he was drafted, Miller signed a four-year contract that
pays him $6.95 million through 2009 with the major league club -- he
would get $1.6 million less if he stays in the minors those years.
Tuesday's promotion jumped his 2006 salary of $100,000 in the
minors to the $327,000 minimum in the majors.

He won the Roger Clemens Award as college baseball's top pitcher
and was named Baseball America's player of the year and the
Atlantic Coast Conference's pitcher of the year. He is North
Carolina's career strikeout leader with 325. As a freshman and
sophomore, Miller was 14-7 and earned second-team All-ACC honors
each season.

Tampa Bay drafted Miller in the third round of the 2003 draft
out of Buchholz High School in Gainesville, Fla., making him the
highest-drafted player still unsigned from three years ago. He is
the 12th first-round pitcher drafted by Detroit in 16 years.

Detroit also purchased the contract of outfielder Alexis Gomez
on Tuesday. He was hitting .288 with 11 home runs and 38 RBI for
Triple-A Toledo.

Miller and Gomez replace right-hander Colby Lewis, who was
optioned to Toledo, and outfielder Brent Clevlen, who was sent to
Double-A Erie on Monday.

In other moves, the Tigers designated outfielder Nook Logan for
assignment and recalled shortstop Tony Giarratano from Erie and
placed him on the 15-day disabled list while he recovers from right
knee surgery.