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Brad Mills (millsbr02)

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Bradley Aaron Mills

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Left-handed pitcher Brad Mills, also known as Bradley Mills, made his major league debut with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2009.

Mills was called up to the big club when ace Roy Halladay was placed on the disabled list. In his major league debut, he was the starting pitcher against the Philadelphia Phillies on June 19th. He gave up four earned runs on six hits and four walks in 3 2/3 innings, including home runs by Jayson Werth and Jimmy Rollins, but was not involved in the decision as the Jays rallied to beat the Phils 8-7 on Rod Barajas' 9th-inning pinch home run.

Brad Mills was selected by the Blue Jays in the 4th round of the 2007 amateur draft, out of the University of Arizona, a year after having been a 22nd round selection by the same team. He was signed by scout Dan Cholowsky and made his debut that summer with the Auburn Doubledays of the New York-Penn League, going 2-0, 2.00 in six games. In 2008, he had tremendous success at three levels of the Jays' organization, finishing with a combined record of 13-5, 1.95. He started out with Lansing of the Midwest League, where he was 6-3, 2.55 in 15 starts and made the mid-season all-star team, then was promoted to Dunedin of the Florida State League where he was 4-0, 1.35 in 6 starts. That earned him another promotion, to the AA New Hampshire Fisher Cats of the Eastern League, and he responded with a 3-2 record but an outstanding 1.10 ERA in his last 6 starts of the season. Overall, he struck out 159 batters in 147 innings between the three stops. His success put him on the fast track to the majors, although he would have to fight off a slew of other talented young pitchers to obtain his first shot at the Bigs.

Mills had been in competition for a spot in the Blue Jays starting rotation in spring training of 2009, following his outstanding season in the minors in 2008, but lost out to fellow rookies Scott Richmond and Ricky Romero. Two other rookies, Robert Ray and Brett Cecil made their debut as starting pitchers for the injury-riddled Blue Jays before Mills got the call in mid-June. He had been pitching for the AAA Las Vegas 51s, putting up a record of only 1-8, but with a decent 4.50 ERA in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League at the time of his call-up by the parent club. He had struck out 65 in 76 innings, while walking 34. He made two starts for the Blue Jays, going 0-1 with a 14.09 ERA, then won another game at Las Vegas before his season was cut short by arm problems.

Mills returned to Las Vegas in 2010. He was 7-4 with a 4.13 ERA in 16 starts when the Jays called on him to make an emergency start against the Baltimore Orioles on July 28th. He was outstanding, giving up no runs on two hits in 7 innings and was credited with the Jays' 5-0 win for his first major league victory. It was his only decision in 7 games in the big leagues, and he put up a 5.64 ERA in 22 1/3 innings. In the minors, he finished the year at 8-6, 4.97. He was back at Las Vegas to begin 2011, going 11-9, 4.00 in 24 starts, with 136 strikeouts in 157 1/3 innings. He got another brief look in the majors, making 5 appearances - 4 starts - with a record of 1-2, 9.82 in 18 1/3 innings.

On December 3, 2011, Mills was traded to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for catcher Jeff Mathis. he made only one appearance for the Angels in 2012, pitching 5 scoreless innings and earning a 6-0 win over the Baltimore Orioles on July 8th.

Mills was traded by the Milwaukee Brewers to the Oakland Athletics on June 17, 2014 for the ridiculously low sum of $1.00. To that point, belying the bargain-basement price, he had made 14 appearances for Milwaukee's AAA club, the Nashville Sounds], having struck out 77 batters in 75 innings while posting a 1.56 ERA. the A's wanted him to take the place in the starting rotation of Drew Pomeranz, who had just injured his hand punching a wooden chair in frustration after a poor outing. He made three starts for Oakland, going 1-1, 4.41, but was placed on waivers when the A's acquired a pair of front-line starters, Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel in a trade with the Chicago Cubs in early July. He was claimed by the Toronto Blue Jays on July 17th, returning to his original organization after three years. However, his stay with the Jays was brief and painful; in his only appearance on July 21st, he gave up 8 runs in 2 innings of a relief in a 14-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox and was designated for assignment the next day. Yet, he was back in Toronto again on August 11th, the result of the Jays having exhausted their bullpen in a 19-inning marathon win over the Detroit Tigers the previous day.

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