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Shelby Miller optioned to Triple-A

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In an unexpected move, the team have sent struggling starter Shelby Miller to the minors

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) optioned RHP Shelby Miller to Triple-A Reno, as announced by D-backs Sr. Vice President & General Manager Dave Stewart. A corresponding move will be made prior to tomorrow night's game. Miller, 25, has made 14 starts with the D-backs and was 2-9 with a 7.14 ERA (55 ER in 69.1 IP). He was on the 15-day disabled list from May 27-June 20 with a sprained right index finger.

As noted, it's the second stint in the minors this year for Miller, the other being on a "rehab assignment" as he worked his way back from the "disabled list". Quotes in both cases used advisedly, for the results after he returned to the majors have basically been indistinguishable from the results before injury - or even while injured. According to Kevin Zimmerman, Miller "is surprised his stayed up with D-backs this long," and adds that there is no fixed time-table for a return. Good, because that's the way it should be: you stay in the minors until you are fixed. And properly fixed, this time.

Miller's first half was truly terrible, and not just for this season, where as Nick Piecoro points out, "Miller has the highest ERA (7.14), by nearly a run and a half, of any pitcher in the league with at least 14 starts." It was very close to the worst of all time in franchise history. Here are the 10 highest ERAs by a Diamondbacks pitcher over the first half of a season, with a minimum of 50 innings thrown.

Rk Player Year G ERA W L W-L% IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP OPS
1 Omar Daal 2000 18 7.36 2 10 .167 91.2 121 86 75 17 40 41 1.756 .903
2 Shelby Miller 2016 14 7.14 2 9 .182 69.1 87 55 55 13 34 50 1.745 .909
3 Brian Anderson 1999 17 6.94 2 1 .667 59.2 86 47 46 15 12 39 1.642 .930
4 Jeff Suppan 1998 13 6.68 1 7 .125 66.0 82 55 49 12 21 39 1.561 .859
5 Casey Fossum 2004 12 6.27 2 8 .200 60.1 81 47 42 14 25 46 1.757 .947
6 Russ Ortiz 2005 14 5.88 4 6 .400 78.0 95 54 51 13 42 35 1.756 .884
7 Steve Sparks 2004 19 5.85 3 5 .375 97.0 110 69 63 13 37 45 1.515 .814
8 Armando Reynoso 2000 16 5.81 5 6 .455 83.2 93 56 54 13 26 43 1.422 .839
9 Andy Benes 1999 18 5.51 5 9 .357 111.0 126 75 68 22 54 79 1.622 .870
10 Mike Bolsinger 2014 10 5.50 1 6 .143 52.1 66 36 32 7 17 48 1.586 .872

There's no word of a replacement at this point, but with off-days, it seems likely the team will go with a four-man rotation for a bit.