The Giants recently signed reliever Shelby Miller on a minor league contract. He’s been assigned to Triple-A Sacramento, where he made his first appearance on Wednesday.
Miller had opened the season in the Yankees’ organization on a non-roster deal. According to his transactions log at MLB.com, he was released on May 31. The right-hander was one of a host of veterans afforded an automatic June 1 opt-out possibility by the collective bargaining agreement. Whether he triggered that provision or was simply let go by the Yankees isn’t clear, but in either event, he’s quickly landed a new opportunity.
A high-end starting pitcher during his early days with the Cardinals and Braves, Miller has had some highly-publicized struggles since the D-Backs parted with Dansby Swanson and Ender Inciarte to acquire him before the 2016 season. He didn’t perform well during his first season in the desert, and he missed most of the 2017-18 season recovering from Tommy John surgery. Miller was hit hard in a swing role with the Rangers in 2019, then opted out of the 2020 campaign. He returned to the big leagues with the Cubs and Pirates last year but was tagged for a 9.24 ERA with more walks than strikeouts in 12 2/3 combined innings.
Now 31 years old, Miller is having a nice year in the minors. He pitched in 16 games with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, logging 21 innings with a 1.71 ERA. His .231 BABIP indicates there’s some good fortune there, but he’s also earning it to some degree with a 29.4% strikeout rate and 7.1% walk rate. Since switching organizations, he’s made one scoreless appearance for the Sacramento River Cats.
He’ll provide depth for a Giants’ bullpen that has been a bit disappointing so far this year. Their collective 4.41 ERA places them 24th among MLB teams, though advanced metrics are a bit kinder, as they have a 3.77 FIP, 4.08 xFIP and 3.79 SIERA.