Shelby Miller's Story
With Diamondbacks pitcher Shelby Miller needing Tommy John surgery, now seems like a good time to revisit the story of Shelby Miller’s MLB career so far, and how he went from a young Cardinal’s righty, to a former all-star and solid rotation piece. The story begins with Shelby Miller as a St. Louis Cardinal where Miller created hype for himself with a solid rookie campaign in 2013, and an alright 2014 season. After this 2014 season Miller was dealt to the Braves in a blockbuster deal for Jason Heyward, and Jordan Walden. This is where the Braves front office and their strategy comes into play. The Braves, knowing Heyward was heading into a contract year decided to trade their young slugger and did just that, landing a solid pitcher who ended up being an all-star in 2015. After that great 2015 season, Miller was on the move once again in a deal that at the time rocked the game. The Arizona Diamondbacks traded Ender Inciarte, Aaron Blair, and number one overall draft pick Dansby Swanson to the Braves for Shelby Miller and Gabe Speier. This trade was big at the time because so much talent was going to the Braves for the young righty. It also showed the Braves amazing strategy, because by trading Jason Heyward, they got a solid year from Shelby Miller, and by trading Miller they got 2 top prospects, and a very talented outfielder. Putting this in simpler terms, the Braves got 3 very talented players, and a year of Shelby Miller (a year in which he was an all-star), for Jason Heyward who was a free agent at the end of the 2015 season. This sequence of events by the Braves was a great plan of attack for a team in a rebuilding, and it will hopefully let them start making the playoffs with their new revamped team in their new ballpark. Returning to Miller’s story, after being traded to the Diamondbacks, Miller struggled. In 2016 Miller went 3-12 with a 6.15 ERA, not pitching like himself, and being sent down to the minors for a short stint. After that forgettable 2016 Miller came into 2017 with high hopes, and after only a few starts in 2017, Millers season has come to an end. After a tear in his right elbow was found, Miller got the opinion of 3 doctors, eventually choosing to get season ending Tommy John surgery. This will almost certainly be a turning point in his career, but hopefully it will be a turn for the better. It is speculated that the reason for Miller’s struggles in 2016 were caused by this injury not being treated, so now after agreeing to the surgery, Miller can hopefully return to his old form where he was the dominant righty he was always expected to be. For now however, don’t expect to see Miller for a while because the Tommy John surgery will cause Miller to miss the rest of the 2017 season, and although Miller is hopeful he can rejoin the team in spring training next year, it is very likely Miller will miss part of the 2018 season as well. Shelby Miller’s story has been filled with many twists and turns, and I hope after returning from the Tommy John surgery, he can pitch like the Shelby Miller of the past.