Did the Atlanta Braves sell high on Shelby Miller or what?

After walking in a run during the fourth inning, Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Shelby Miller is pulled from a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, Sunday, May 1, 2016, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Shelby Miller: He’s struggling, folks. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Shelby Miller was the best thing about the 2015 Atlanta Braves. His won-loss record (6-17) was bad, but in a weird way he was historically good.

His ERA was 3.02. He worked 21 quality starts in 33 outings. He came excruciatingly close to one no-hitter and within sight of another. His continuing excellence in trying times — the major leagues’ worst offense mustered 2.1 runs in support of Miller while he was in the game — rendered him a pillar of perseverance.

Today he pitches for Arizona. He’s scheduled to start against the Braves on Saturday night at Turner Field. A year ago, he was an All-Star. To date, he has been the least effective starting pitcher in the major leagues.

Miller’s stats: An ERA of 8.49, a WHIP of 1.971 and a FIP (fielding independent pitching) of 7.23. He’s second in the majors with 19 walks. His WAR value is minus-0.8. Among MLB pitchers who have worked a minimum of 20 innings, his FIP and WAR numbers are the worst. His WHIP is the fourth-worst. His ERA is the sixth-worst.

The Diamondbacks have won two of Miller’s six starts. In the first, they rallied from a 6-3 deficit after he was removed; in the second, he was lifted in the third after walking four consecutive batters. He has worked beyond the fifth inning only twice. He has no quality starts.

According to Brooks Baseball, he has lost velocity on both his four-seam fastball and his sinker: From 95.11 mph last year to 93.60 on the former, from 94.55 to 92 on the latter.

According to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic: “(The D-backs) believe his most recent issues are more rooted in mentality than mechanics … Miller’s velocity was down in his first two outings, when he struggled to either keep the ball in the park or elicit swings and misses from opposing hitters. In the next two, his mechanics went awry, as he repeatedly scraped his pitching hand on the mound during the follow-through to his delivery.”

As we know, the D-backs gave up way too much for Miller. In that massive trade, the Braves received Aaron Blair, a young pitcher who has looked very good in his first two big-league starts; Ender Inciarte, who was the opening-day center fielder before getting hurt two games later; and Dansby Swanson, the No. 1 pick in last year’s draft who already has been promoted from Single-A to Double-A. From the Braves’ perspective, that deal was widely regarded as the absolute best of the offseason.

Arizona manager Dave Stewart said on MLB Radio: “I think the whole ordeal has just been different for (Miller) than it was leaving St. Louis going to Atlanta.”

D-backs manager Chip Hale has said the team has “not even discussed” removing Miller from the rotation. Hale also told reporters: “We are trying everything. We are working with him. We want him to stay positive. It’s tough. He’s not very happy about it.”

Let’s recall that Miller underwent an unbelievably protracted stretch — 25 starts, from his almost no-hitter in Miami on May 17 until the final day of the season — between wins, but he held up his end. (And remember: He was the guy who’d been traded for Jason Heyward.) The Braves always believed they’d sold high when they sent Miller to Arizona. Nobody among them, though, expected this.

Reader Comments 0

19 comments
TideDawg
TideDawg

Playing with last years Braves would cause any player to develop a loser complex. It's going to take Miller awhile to change that and develop a winning attitude again. A player must have a winning attitude not just talent. The Braves destroyed Miller's confidence and winning attitude. It's the same thing that will happen to all of those great prospects on the farm team if they bring them into a losing atmosphere like the one that exists on the 2016 Braves

DumbandDumber
DumbandDumber

Can't judge a trade 40 games into it. Won't know if minor leaguer ever pans out, one guy hitting .182 before getting hurt, and a third pitcher that has thrown 16.1 innings (granted, 3.31 ERA in the 16.1 innings of his three starts).

Like an NFL draft, Incomplete.  If Miller turns it around, D Backs might still get best of it. 

HotDawg
HotDawg

Let's admit the Braves were RIGHT on this one.

They lucked out. Who cares?

Some people are so bent out of shape, that they were wishing the worst for the Braves.

F them.

Braves won this one. Eat it.

Jacket Detective
Jacket Detective

Go buy yourself some tickets to watch the team put together with all these winning trades. The trades are about the future? Well good luck catching up with the Cubs who have both the present and future taken care of, in spite of the loss of a good hitter for the season.

The Braves are five years from catching up with the Cubs, if then.

E983
E983

Who knows Mark. I would say he needs more than just being thrown into game after game right now. Remember a young pitcher for the Braves in the early '90s that many had given up on. He wound up in the HOF last year. That pitcher was John Smoltz.

Calel
Calel

Shelby Miller will look like Cy Young tomorrow.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

Mark,

Let us not be too hasty to say that the Braves only got over on the D-Backs in the Trades to Rebuild of the Braves.Take a look at how more of our ex-Braves are faring in 2016.

                           BA     HR    RBI    OPS        SALARY

Justin Upton     .252     2        8       .630             22.12 M

Jason Heyward .207   0        13     .561             17.5 M

Melvin Upton     .245   2         11     .701             16.05 M

And. Simmons  .215   1           5     .517               6.14 M

Chris Johnson   .207   0           1    .557               507K  * 7 M 

Chr.Bethancourt .174  1          3    .548                511K

Jose Peraza (AAA) .287 1      7    .727                507K

TomLaStella       .341    1         4    .974                532K

Phil Gosselin     .233     1         2    .576                514K

                                 W  L     ERA      WHIP         SALARY

Shelby Miller         0    3     8.49      1.97               4.35M

Craig Kimbrel        0   1      3.46      0.85 (9 SV)  11.25M

Alex Wood             1   3      5.18      1.48                530K

Chasen Shreve     1  1      4.82       0.96               533K

Luis Avilan              0   0    40.50      7.50              1.41 M


So look at it this way Braves fans ,If all of our Super Stars the Braves have Traded away the last two years were on the 2016 squad, I dare say the Braves won loss record would be about the same as the 7 and 20 mark . Plus there would be zero prospects in the minors and the Payroll would be about 150 million.





USMC2841
USMC2841

Outside of Denver Arizona has the hitter friendliest park there is.  He's already a third of the way to last years wins. With the 26th lowest payroll in MLB it's easy to shine.

George Whitlock
George Whitlock

Braves fan through and through, but the kid (shelby) deserves better than what his stats and record show this year and last.  I'll be pulling for the Braves this weekend series, but I kinda hope Shelby can get his stuff figured out.  Best of luck to both the Braves and Shelby Miller!

DaltonbywayofBickley
DaltonbywayofBickley

Dadgum. Hate it for him. He seems like a good kid, in addition to being (at least previously) a promising pitcher.

TOJacket
TOJacket

You're only as good as your last day!

douglasT
douglasT

He'll probably shut the Braves down. Just what the doctor ordered.

slydawg
slydawg

If Miller was not traded for all those pieces, what would the Braves records be today? The exact same. Too early to call anything out during this rebuild that's not a rebuild.

BTC
BTC

Is Fredi still employed?

DrTruth
DrTruth

Did the Braves buy high on Hector Olivera or what?