NEW YORK (WFAN) — Andrew Miller‘s team-first attitude should be commended, Yankees catcher Brian McCann says.
Without a hint of frustration, Miller relinquished his closer role to flame-throwing lefty Aroldis Chapman this week after Chapman returned from his domestic violence suspension.
Miller is “what every athlete should be,” McCann told WFAN’s Mike Francesa on Friday. “He checks his ego at the door. He knows how good he is. He’s team-first. And he truly is team-first. You hear guys talk about it all the time, ‘Yeah, it’s all about the team.’ But when it comes down to it, it’s not about the team. And Andrew is as pro as it gets doing his job.”
McCann also gave his take on several of the Yankees’ pitchers.
Of the back end of the bullpen, he said: Chapman’s “got more gas, but with Miller and (Dellin) Betances, you’re talking about three superstars that nobody wants to face. You’re talking about a six-inning game.”
Of starter Luis Severino, who enters Friday’s game against the Chicago White Sox with an 0-5 record and 6.12 ERA: “Ultimately it comes down to repeating mechanics and repeating pitches, and I think he’s getting better and better. I think each start’s been better.”
And in discussing Michael Pineda, who is 1-4 with a 6.28 ERA, McCann said his slider has been both a blessing and a curse this season. Pineda leads the team in strikeouts (41), but also in home runs allowed (nine).
“It’s a pitch that you know you have to go to, and he just has to execute it,” McCann said. “With two strikes, being 6-(foot)-7, 6-8, creating that angle that he can create, if he puts it in the dirt with two strikes, he’s unhittable. And then when it hangs, it doesn’t get the same bite … and it gets hit.”
To listen to the full interview, click on the audio player above.