Brownwood High School graduate Shelby Miller recently made the first of a projected four minor league starts as he continues to rehabilitate following Tommy John surgery in May 2017.
Miller pitched five innings for the Arizona Diamondbacks' Class A affiliate Visalia on Tuesday. Working on a five-inning or 75-pitch limit, whichever came first, Miller struck out eight batters, walked none and yielded just one run against the San Jose Giants.
Miller will work a bullpen session Saturday, and based on the evaluation of that performance make another start for a Diamondbacks affiliate next week. Prior to the start for Visalia, Diamondbacks General Manager Mike Hazen told the Arizona Republic newspaper that Miller could get “somewhere in the neighborhood” of four (rehab) starts.
In a May 25 interview with the Arizona Republic, Miller said, “My arm feels great. My arm feels really, really good.”
Reflecting on his rehabilitation, Miller said, “The first couple of months, three months, in the training room for three hours a day every day doing little things – grabbing Play-Doh and putty, just stuff that you’re like, ‘How does this help me? It’s a mental grind, for sure.
“It’s the same thing every single day for about four months, and then when you finally get to pick up a baseball, you’re a little bit excited. You’ve been taking these steps forward every day, so seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, but at the same time, you need to stay strong and do all the right things so you don’t mess this up.”
Miller's 2017 campaign with the Diamondbacks ended after four starts, as he began the season with a 2-2 record and a 4.09 ERA, collecting 20 strikeouts and 12 walks over 22 innings pitched.
In his Major League Baseball career, which included a 2015 All-Star Game appearance with the Atlanta Braves, Miller owns a 37-49 record over 120 starts with a 3.67 ERA, 573 strikeouts and 277 walks in 698.1 innings pitched.