Could Shelby Miller rediscover himself with the Brewers?

The Milwaukee Brewers have added Shelby Miller on a minor league contract with an invite to camp. Is there any chance he makes an impact on active roster in 2020?

Reclamation projects are the best chance for the Milwaukee Brewers to round out their bullpen with a veteran arm. The team has already added Mike Morin, Jesus Castillo, and Justin Grimm on minor league contracts with invites to Spring Training. The team has also added Shelby Miller on a minor league deal. Does he have a chance to make the roster or is he just getting by on name recognition at this point in his career?

What happened to Miller’s career?

Miller was a first round draft pick almost 11 years ago. He was rated as a top prospect for most of the early part of the last decade. Miller earned an All-Star Game appearance in 2015 with the Atlanta Braves, but then his career ground to a halt when he was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

In 2016, Miller struggled through the season and spent most of the second half shuttling between Triple-A and the Majors. He suffered a tear in his right elbow in 2017 and required Tommy John surgery. He did have a few setbacks along the way, and has only worked 60 innings in the Majors over the last few years.

In 2019, Miller posted an 8.59 ERA in eight starts and 11 relief appearances. He struck out 30, walked 29, and was tagged for eight homers in limited action for the Texas Rangers.

He did catch on with the Brewers last year, but only stuck around for a month in the Minors before deciding to call it a year.

The good news is that despite his struggles, Miller was still sitting in the 94 MPH-to-95 MPH range with his fastball last year.

Can Miller find a role with the Brewers?

The Brewers have several bullpen roles open to competition, and there’s a non-zero chance that a rejuvenated Miller could work his way into one of them.

Miller spent time as a reliever last year, and may be looking to reinvent himself in his age-29 season as a high leverage reliever. He still has the stuff to get hitters out, and he’s only a few years removed from an All-Star appearance. Miller had a long road to come back from, but he clearly still has innings left in his elbow.

Next: Who should the Brewers offer contract extensions to?

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Miller faces a crowded field to contend with, but a few solid outings in Spring Training would put him in contention for a relief role with the 2020 Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers need skilled vets to step up into late inning relief roles, and a recharged Miller could end up contributing in 2020.

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