The 26-year old left-hander Brad Mills continues to impress in the very hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. With an impressive ERA of 2.34 of 9 starts and a record of 4 wins and 2 losses and 49 strikeouts, he has certainly reached a level where he forces the Blue Jays to act. I was actually surprised, with Jesse Litsch going on the DL, that Brad Mills was not recalled to make the start; instead it will be Carlos Villanueava to make at least one start; nevertheless, I digress.
Brad Mills, to this point, has performed admirably if not better than expect and I believe has done everything the Blue Jays have asked of him. He still remains a quality prospect, though is often overlooked by many of the prospect reports due to his age and the fact the Jays have a ton of young talent.
There are essentially four scenarios that will play out based on Mill's performance thus far:
(1) Instead of the struggling Brett Cecil, Brad Mills is the next pitcher to be recalled and remains with the Blue Jays as a spot-starter and left-handed option out of the bullpen.
(2) As a left-handed prospect who has been dynamite in AAA, the Blue Jays will trade him to a team needing pitching for a quality infield prospect or veteran. I would not be suprised if a pitcher, perhaps Mills, gets packaged with Rivera or E5 (assuming either or both get traded) in order to gain a better return.
(3) With a buy low-sell high philosophy, the Blue Jays decide to trade Jo-Jo Reyes, the other left-handed starter, who has gotten increasingly hot as of late. With Jo-Jo essentially out of options, he has remained a starter because of the inconsistency of Brett Cecil. With both Brad and Brett as left-handed starters in AAA, the Jays could potentially trade Jo-Jo and still have a number of young and quality left-handed pitching options.
Playing devil's advocate, I would say, especially with all the injuries, option #1 is likely the scenario, however, it does make you start to think that with Brad Mill's success may come some new opportunities. Considering how many MLB are already in need of starting pitchers, especially left-handers, the Jays have a unique opportunity to exploit this growing market.
What do you think of the situation? Could Brad Mills actually bring in a significant return?
To start the ball rolling, as per scenario #2, the Blue Jays coul trade him to Minnesota, who is in need of pitching for prospect 1B Chris Parmelee. At 22-years old Chris is still young and in AA. Though a bit of a defensive liability, he remains a solid left-handed hitting prospect and could bode well as a DH and back-up 1B. He has hit .315 with 3 HR and 24 RBI so far this season. In reality, because of the season Mills is having and the organizational need he can potentially fill, the Blue Jays could ask for a higher prospect or another mid-level prospect.
Sitting on our end of the table, it's easy for us to go, "look, this guy is doing good in AAA and we can trade this MLB-ready prospect to get a good return." Unfortunately, guys like Mills who haven't shown much in the majors aren't hard to find. If a team NEEDS a guy to fill the 4th or 5th spot, they won't look for an unaccomplished young guy with little experience. If they're in that position, I see Reyes having more trade value. Where Mills will probably have more value would be to a team who just needs a 6th or 7th starter who are probably ready, but can wait in the wings until needed.
I am inclined to agree. Reyes but for some poor relief pitching should have 2 wins now. With ML experience and a decent stats line, he would be more attractive to a team looking for a 4th or 5th starter than would Mills.
Like Aline said, guys like this arent hard to find.
Alot of teams already have a Brad Mills type player (older prospect who has bounced back and forth and never really broke out) in the minors they could call up if the wanted too. Sometimes they have two or three of them. I dont see anyone really clamoring to trade for him because he has had a good first 9 games.
Personally I'd call him up and keep Villanueva in the pen, though the last start by Villanueva was impressive.
They need to do something with him, there going to lose him for nothing if they don't.
That could end up being of zero consequence, but I'd prefer not to take that chance.
Btw I was in attendance when he gave up a 5th deck homer to Jayson Werth and lost 10-0. So I've seen first hand how bad he can be lol.
Villanueva hasn't looked bad and in fact looked to be a better option than Mills. Keep running him out there to see if he has the ability to be an SP. Hell in his last start, he looked better than Litsch never mind Mills
I'd just like to see Mills get a shot, see what he can do with 6-8-10 starts in a row. But after that start by Villanueva, I wouldn't argue if they kept throwing him out there. Even if he gets absolutely crushed next start, the first start probably deserves 2-3 more chances.