Shelby Miller certainly would like to just forget the 2016 season ever happened. Acquired in an offseason trade with Atlanta (a deal that sent former No. 1 overall pick Dansby Swanson to the Braves, along with outfielder Ender Inciarte), Miller was supposed to pair with Zack Greinke to give Arizona a boost in the rotation. Instead, Miller struggled pretty much from the start, and he ended up being demoted to the minors in July. Miller's 6.15 ERA was easily the worst of his career -- his previous worst was the 3.74 ERA he posted in 2014 with St. Louis. Heading into 2017, Miller's stock is as low as it's ever been. He'll probably start the season in the rotation if only because of how much the team gave up to get him, but it's clear Miller is on a short leash. He will be much less in demand on draft day than he was a year ago, so he could be a decent bargain play if he's able to revert back to his previous form.
Miller will begin the season in the Arizona rotation with Archie Bradley moving to the bullpen, ArizonaSports.com reports. Miller may have a 7.36 ERA this spring, but he also has an encouraging 18:4 K:BB in 11 innings. Miller's disastrous 2016 season (6.15 ERA) featured just a 6.2 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9.
Miller will start Friday's split-squad game against the Mariners, MLB.com reports. Friday's start will mark Miller's first Cactus League appearance since March 6, when he was rocked for six runs on five hits and two walks in just 2.2 innings. There was never any mention of an injury. Miller's first year with the Diamondbacks was a disaster but he's still right there in the mix for a spot in the starting rotation -- the Diamondbacks have two spots open to fill between Miller, Patrick Corbin and Archie Bradley.
Miller lost his arbitration hearing and will receive $4.7 million for the 2017 season, FanRag Sports' Jon Heyman reports. Miller had been asking for $5.1 million, but the arbiter sided with the team following a season when the righty posted a 6.15 ERA in 101 MLB innings. He will compete with Archie Bradley and Braden Shipley for one of the final two rotation spots this spring.
Miller (3-12) threw a rare five-inning complete game, allowing no runs on five hits, striking out five and walking one in a victory over the Nationals. The game was called after five and a half innings due to rain. The right-hander has done his best to turn it on lately and erase the ridiculous Diamondbacks trade that brought him to Arizona from people's minds, but it's ultimately too little, too late to fix that. Miller has thrown 12.1 straight scoreless innings, and he still has an ERA above 6.00. He also owns a 1.67 WHIP and .310 batting average against. Maybe his final two starts are a sign he will turn it around next season, but as for 2016, it was a complete disaster for Miller.
Miller didn't factor into the decision Friday versus the Orioles but fired six innings of scoreless, three-hit ball, walking three and also recording three strikeouts. He was notably impressive against a potent lineup on the road, certainly a departure from his other three starts in September, when he'd given up 15 runs (12 earned) over 14.2 innings. The strong outing didn't much to spruce up Miller's unsightly metrics, which include a 6.47 ERA and 1.70 WHIP along with a 2-12 record, but was certainly a welcome sight given his recent performances. He'll look to close out a largely dismal 2016 with another strong performance versus the Nationals.