Corky Miller (37) Days Until Cincinnati Reds Report to Spring Training


Mar 25, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Cincinnati Reds catcher Corky Miller against the Oakland Athletics at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It may be cold and icy in Ohio and surrounding states, but the Cincinnati Reds open their Spring Training activities on February 18, which means there are just 37 days until “Pitchers and Catchers Report!”.  Every day between now and then, we’ll look at one Red, past or current, who wears that day’s uniform number and try to connect him to what’s in store for the team in 2015.  

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Our first player exemplifies the hope and dreams that Spring Training embodies for every team, and he also fits well with the theme of pitchers and catchers …

Number 37 on our countdown team is former Reds’ catcher Corky Miller, who, even as late as last spring was hanging onto his Big League dreams.

Miller was first signed by the Reds as an amateur free agent out of San Bernardino Valley College way back in 1998.  It took him three years, until he was 25 years old, before he made his Major League debut in 2001.  In that season when the Riverfront was still drunk with the promise of a mid-career Ken Griffey, Jr., Miller turned in an inauspicious 57 plate appearances, smacking three home runs on his way to an anemic .671 OPS.

The next year was not much better, but it was Miller’s personal best.  In 2002, Corky made his way into 39 games, collecting 29 hits and three homes, and driving in 15.  From there, his playing time diminished, and by 2009, he had been through four other teams.

He came “home” to Cincy in that 2009 season, though, and again in 2010.  At age 35, Miller found himself back in the minors for the 2011 season, and he was stuck there through 2012.

The next season, in 2013, Miller made it back to “The Show” yet again, logging 41 plate appearances over 17 games, but 2014 saw a return to the minors.

As we enter 2015, it would seem that Miller’s Big League career is over, especially considering the number-retirement ceremony that the Louisville Bats gave him last season.

Really, though, you just never know with Corky Miller.

In that regard, he’s kind of like the Reds.  Their off-season moves indicate that contending in 2015 is a tall order, but if Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce are productive, and if Marlon Byrd can click, and if Johnny Cueto can be Cy Young again, well then, you just never know.