Tigers To Sign Shelby Miller

MLB Trade Rumors

8:39am: It’s a one-year contract with a 2025 option, reports Evan Petzold of the Detroit Free Press. Miller is in Detroit for his physical today, Petzold adds, so the contract should become official soon.

8:26am: The Tigers have agreed to a deal with free agent right-hander Shelby Miller, reports Kiley McDaniel of ESPN. The contract is still pending a physical. Detroit’s 40-man roster is full, so they’ll need to make a corresponding move to accommodate this latest addition. Miller is represented by Roc Nation Sports.

Miller, 33, enjoyed a resurgent season with the 2023 Dodgers, pitching to a brilliant 1.71 earned run average in 42 innings over 36 appearances (35 relief outings, one start). He fanned a strong 25.8% of his opponents against a bloated 11.7% walk rate and kept the ball on the ground at a 37.4% clip — a few percentage points below the league average. Miller’s fastball is down about a mile per hour from its peak levels, sitting at a league-average 93.6 mph, but he also brandished a newly implemented splitter in 2023, which flummoxed his opponents.

Prior to the 2023 season, Miller had thrown exactly one splitter in his career — way back in 2014. He threw the pitch 26.2% of the time this past season, however, and batters were largely helpless against it. Miller threw 174 splitters in 2023 and finished off 47 plate appearances with the pitch; opponents posted an awful .136/.191/.250 against the pitch in that sample. Statcast credited the pitch with a .170 “expected” opponents’ batting average and a .274 expected slugging percentage.

That marked Miller’s first successful season since back in 2015. While he’d shown flashes of promise in the interim seven years, injuries and poor performances were far more common for the former top prospect and once-promising young starter. The 19th overall pick by the Cardinals back in 2009, Miller debuted in St. Louis as a 21-year-old, pitched to an outstanding 3.22 ERA over his first 575 1/3 big league frames and was twice traded in blockbuster deals — first going from St. Louis to Atlanta in exchange for Jason Heyward and a year later going to Arizona in the trade that brought Dansby Swanson and Ender Inciarte to the Braves.

Miller struggled immediately with the D-backs and never found his footing before undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2017. At various points, his career looked to be on the brink, but he persevered through considerable struggles and now, in his mid-30s, looks to have found new life as a quality bullpen arm.

The Dodgers didn’t use him in high-leverage spots often last year, but Miller could have a clearer path to setup work in Detroit. Right-handers Alex Lange and Jason Foley are the primary ninth- and eighth-inning options, respectively, and Detroit brought lefty Andrew Chafin back on a one-year deal as a left-handed setup option as well. But Miller has a good bit more experience than the bulk of the Tigers’ relievers and could find himself in more tight, late-inning spots this season.

More to come.

Articles You May Like

Scouting the Statcast line in spring camp
Marygrove Awnings Spring Training Report 2.24.24
Marygrove Awnings Spring Training Report 2.28.24
Casey Mize and a host of young Tigers pitchers started strong this spring
Tigers Claim Buddy Kennedy, Designate Andre Lipcius

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *