Cano is going to play 2nd base
That presents a mini-dilemma for Jack Z and Lloyd McClendon, as they already have a couple of young middle infielders, and one of them is going to have to go.
Brad Miller is the M’s short stop, and a slick short stop he plays. He’s got excellent range, a solid glove and a great arm.
At the plate, Miller is a slap-the-ball lefty swinger.
He reminds me a bit of Ichiro up there when he slaps the ball toward the hole at short.
His bat doesn’t project a whole lot more than that. Yes, he might hit 10 homers in one year, but that’s probably an optimistic projection. He’s a 1, 2, or 9 hole kind of guy in your lineup.
On the bases, Miller shows good speed. He’s still undisciplined as an MLB base-stealer, but that is something he’ll learn as he gets to play more at the major league level.
Nick Franklin is officially listed as a 2nd baseman, although he does have the ability to play all around the infield and even some left field, which gives the M’s more options on defense in case of injuries.
At all these positions, Franklin in solid with the glove and shows good range. His arm is a hair off from that of Miller, but it’s not enough of a difference to worry about.
At the plate, Franklin does something that few can do. He can switch hit, and he actually does it pretty darn well. At one point last season, Franklin had people talking Rookie of the Year. A late season swoon at the plate ended that talk, but Franklin can and likely will hit close to .300 for you.
Power-wise Franklin has a touch more power than Miller. As a starter in 2014, I can see 15 homers easy off his bat. I really like his bat in the 2 hole as a guy who can move runners over with his switch hit bat.
Franklin is not quite as quick as Miller, although he does possess plus speed and can steal some bases.
So who goes?
Franklin has too many skills that Miller lacks. Specifically he has more power, will hit for a better average, switch hits and can play more positions, including short stop.
Combine Franklin’s skills with recently signed Willie Bloomquist and you have a lot of options in your dugout.
If I’m calling the shots, I have to let Brad Miller go. If you can’t trade him, you can send him back to AAA, but I think there’s value in Miller.
It will be interesting to watch this spot on the M’s roster and see how it plays out.