Diamondbacks News

Here’s why Shelby Miller could be better upon return

By Christopher Gaine
May 24, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Shelby Miller (26) throws a warm-up pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
May 24, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Shelby Miller (26) throws a warm-up pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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Shelby Miller will make his return to the Diamondbacks on Monday after missing about a month with a hand issue.

In theory, this should be good news for the Diamondbacks. Miller has proven himself to be a solid pitcher in his years prior to his trade to the Diamondbacks. He’s supposed to be the Robin to Zack Greinke’s Batman. Instead, he’s been the Scrappy Doo to Greinke’s Scooby.
Fans will obviously be skeptical of Miller’s return, considering his awful start. He’s 1-6 with a 7.09 ERA this season, making him arguably the worst pitcher in the league this year. The Diamondbacks will need more out of Miller once he returns. And if rehab performances are any indicator of how Miller may do, the Diamondbacks may have some reason to be optimistic.

He allowed just one earned run in 12 innings at high-A Visalia, winning both starts and striking out an astounding 19 batters. He allowed just eight hits and one walk in those starts.

It’s hard to draw much out of single-A rehab games. But this is probably the first bit of encouraging news the Diamondbacks have received about Miller since he was traded there in the offseason. These numbers are downright dominant, and are expected of a big-leaguer against single-A talent.

Miller’s injury had apparently been bothering him since his April 16 start in San Diegeo. This could have been a factor in his poor start– though this is pure speculation. If he’s indeed better, then the Diamondbacks could at long last be getting the pitcher they traded for in the offseason.

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