The Diamondbacks have scheduled right-hander Shelby Miller for at least one more Triple-A start, which Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic says will leave the 25-year-old unable to accrue enough days on the active roster this year to reach four full years of MLB service.
Miller is sitting at 3.133 on his service clock at present, says Piecoro. That means he would need to return to the major league roster by Thursday to reach 172 days and move from the 3+ to the 4+ arbitration class. Miller had been on track to qualify for free agency after the 2018 season. Now, it seems, the Diamondbacks will control him for 2019 as well.
The Snakes demoted Miller to Triple-A as he scuffled through an abysmal campaign. He has lasted just 69 1/3 frames in 14 big league starts and has been tagged with a 7.14 ERA on the year. That’s far from what the team expected when it traded a talented trio of players to add him over the winter.
Arizona will still need to tender Miller an arb contract this fall to retain him, of course. Miller is earning $4.35MM this year, his first season of eligibility. He won’t command much of a raise given his struggles, but will still earn a fairly significant salary.
Diamondbacks chief baseball officer Tony La Russa said that the team’s handling of Miller was not tied to service time. “I don’t know if it’s true or not,” La Russa said of the calculation of service days presented by Piecoro.
While Arizona obviously has ample cause to ask Miller to work things out at Triple-A, it is fair to note that he has been much better there. Over his 46 frames, Miller carries a 3.52 ERA and — more importantly — has recorded 10.0 K/9 against just 1.8 BB/9.