Diamondbacks starter Shelby Miller is expected to make his return from the Tommy John procedure he underwent in May 2017 when the D-Backs visit the Marlins this coming Monday, as The Arizona Republic’s Nick Piecoro pointed out on Twitter Wednesday night:
Dbacks announce they've optioned Matt Koch to Triple- A Reno and recalled Jake Barrett. This likely means Shelby Miller will be making his return from Tommy John surgery on Monday in Miami.— Nick Piecoro (@nickpiecoro) June 20, 2018
Miller, 27, last appeared in a major-league game on April 23, 2017, so his return will mark his first appearance in the big leagues in over 14 months. He’s had an up-and-down career, for sure, arriving in the majors as a highly-touted prospect and being somewhat of a disappointment for the Cardinals. After an All-Star season with the Braves in 2015, Miller had a brutal campaign for the D-Backs in 2016, posting a 6.15 ERA and 1.67 WHIP over 20 starts and getting demoted to Triple-A for roughly a month. Over four starts last year, he had a 4.09 ERA and 1.45 WHIP, so there are rightfully questions about how good he’ll be upon his return.
For what it’s worth, though, Miller was generally good over four minor-league rehab starts this year. Aside from a brutal outing on June 10 in which he allowed eight earned runs in three innings, Miller hasn’t given up more than one run in any of his other three rehab starts.
A spot was cleared for Miller when the D-Backs optioned righty Matt Koch to Triple-A following Tuesday’s game; Koch got off to a great start in Arizona, allowing three or fewer runs in five of his first six starts, but he’d struggled recently and will carry a 4.40 ERA and 1.20 WHIP with him back to Reno.