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Countdown to Arizona Diamondbacks Opening Day: D-53, Miller Diaz

Another day, another D-back!

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks-Spring Training Media Day Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

We asked you to rank the 40-man roster along with the 16 non-roster invitees to spring training, and every day between now and the eve of Opening Day, we’ll have a profile of one of those Diamondbacks.

D minus 53: Miller Diaz

  • Date of birth: June 22, 1992
  • Ht/Wt: 6’1”, 200 lbs
  • Position: Pitcher
  • Status: Non-roster invitee
  • Bats/Throws: R/R
  • 2016 MLB numbers: Did not play
  • SnakePit Rating: 2.67 [pattern of votes below]

Along with Matt Koch, Diaz came to the Diamondbacks in the August 2015 trade with the New York Mets for Addison Reed. Last year was actually his eighth season in the minors already - this happens when you are signed out of Venezuela as a 16-year-old! It was the first time he had gone above High-A ball as well, finishing the year off with 17 appearances out of the Double-A Mobile bullpen. He had started the year in the High-A Visalia rotation, but four starts into the season, Miller had a 9.75 ERA and as many walks as innings, so the team decided to move him to the bullpen.

It didn’t start well, Diaz allowing four runs in his first relief inning of 2016. But he eventually settled down, and a strong June (one earned run over 11.1 innings, with 14 strikeouts) got him a promotion to Mobile. And he performed almost as well there, with a 2.82 ERA and a solid K:BB ratio of 24:9 in his 22.1 innings of work for the Bay Bears. While trade partner Koch has likely had a higher profile, it seems the conversion to relief may have helped Diaz’s stuff play sharper, and also improved his control. After walking 12 of 64 batters faced as a starter, he walked only 16 of 224 batters following the change in his role.

I did briefly get excited here, because after putting “Miller Diaz” into Google, one of the suggestions was “Miller Diaz brawl”. Sadly, this seems to relate to an MMA spat between two guys called Jason Miller and Nick Diaz...

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