TODAY: The Rangers have placed Miller on unconditional release waivers, as per executive VP of communications John Blake (Twitter link). This might not necessarily be the end of Miller’s time with the organization, as MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan (via Twitter) reports “there has been some talking” between the two sides about Miller re-signing on a minor league deal and then pitching as a reliever at Triple-A.
MONDAY: The Rangers have designated righty Shelby Miller for assignment, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram was among those to cover on Twitter. He’ll be replaced on the active roster by recently claimed southpaw Jesse Biddle.
It’s understandable that the Texas organization finally ran out of patience with Miller, who signed a $2MM deal over the winter. Inked in hopes that he’d bounce back after a series of injury-ravaged campaigns, the former All-Star never gained traction in his new home.
Yanked from the rotation after eight messy starts, Miller has been hit nearly as hard in 14 2/3 innings as a reliever. All told, he carries a brutal 8.59 ERA with 30 strikeouts and 29 walks through 44 frames on the year.
Miller is throwing as hard as ever, with his average fastball sitting just under 95 mph, but that’s about the only promising aspect of his showing this year. He has induced opposing hitters to chase out of the zone just 21.2% of the time and carries a meager 7.5% swinging-strike rate.
By cutting the cord now, the Rangers will avoid paying roster and innings-pitched bonuses beyond those already accrued (a total of $400K for spending over ninety days on the active roster). That contractual factor likely didn’t play much of a role in the team’s decision, as it’d have been happy to pay up had Miller been producing at a worthwhile level.