Shelby Miller’s Major League Baseball career is currently in limbo after the Texas Rangers designated the 2009 Brownwood High School graduate for assignment on Monday.
Miller, who signed a $2 million contract to be a starting pitcher with the Rangers in January — with potential bonuses pushing the contract to $5 million — was moved to the bullpen after eight shaky starts.
During his time with the Rangers, Miller posted a 1-3 record with an 8.59 ERA, 30 strikeouts, 29 walks, 58 hits allowed and eight home runs surrendered over 44 innings — eight starts and 11 relief appearances.
Being designated for assignment, the Rangers have the following options with Miller:
• return him to the 40-man roster within seven days from the date of designation
• place him on waivers
• trade him
• release him
• outright him from the 40-man roster into the Minor Leagues
Miller was attempting to revitalize his career, which hasn’t been the same since he underwent Tommy John surgery in 2017 as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Rangers are the fourth stop in the Major League Baseball career of Miller, who was the 19th overall pick in the 2009 draft by the St. Louis Cardinals.
In 2013 as a Cardinal, Miller finished third in the National League Rookie of the Year voting, posting a career-best 15-9 record with a 3.06 ERA in 31 starts, with 169 strikeouts and 57 walks. The Cardinals went on to advance to the 2013 World Series, where they fell to the Boston Red Sox.
Miller was later traded to the Atlanta Braves, where in 2015 he appeared in the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. He finished with just a 6-17 record, but tallied a 3.02 ERA, 171 strikeouts and 73 walks as the Braves ranked 13th out of 15 National League teams in runs scored, and provided just 2.65 runs per start for Miller.
The Braves then dealt Miller to the Diamondbacks in 2016 where he struggled and was sent back to the minors before being called back up to the big league.
Miller appeared to be regaining his old form in 2017 as after four starts he was 2-2 with a 4.09 ERA. But on April 29 Miller’s season ended due to a UCL tear and strained tendon, which led to Tommy John surgery.
Since his 2015 All-Star season, Miller has made just 36 starts in three-plus years. In the past two seasons prior to joining the Rangers, Miller appeared in just nine games with a 2-6 record, a 6.87 ERA, 39 strikeouts and 20 walks in 38 innings pitched.
For his MLB career, Miller owns a 38-56 record, a 4.11 ERA, and 622 strikeouts and 298 walks in 758.1 innings. He has appeared in 150 games, with 132 starts, and allowed 733 hits including 83 home runs.
Among his career highlights, on May 11, 2013, Miller allowed a leadoff single to Eric Young Jr. then retired the next 27 batters in order, 13 by strikeout, in a 3-0 Cardinals’ victory over the Colorado Rockies.
Miller hurled the second one-hitter of his career while with the Braves, a 6-0 victory at Miami on May 17, 2015. Miller owned a no-hitter for 8 2/3 innings before Marlin Justin Bour singled to center field with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning.
At Brownwood High School, Miller was named the 2009 Gatorade Texas High School Baseball Player of the Year. In his senior season as a Lion, Miller posted a 10-2 record on the mound with a 2.00 ERA and 153 strikeouts, 39 walks, 38 hits and 22 runs allowed in 77 innings. At the plate, he batted .430 with five home runs and 37 RBIs.