D-Backs’ Miller opts for Tommy John surgery

Posted: 29/04/2017 in MLB, Sports
Tags: , , , , , ,

The Arizona Diamondbacks will be without right-hander Shelby Miller for at least the next 12 months, as the 26-year-old announced Saturday he will undergo Tommy John surgery to repair the partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.

“It’s the best decision I think we could make,” Miller told reporters Saturday afternoon, two days after his initial diagnosis – a partially torn UCL and flexor tendon strain – was confirmed by noted orthopedist Dr. James Andrews.

A surgery date has not yet been set for Miller, who exited his most recent start with forearm arm tightness and was transferred to the 60-day disabled list four days later. Initially, Miller considered non-surgical options to repair his elbow, but conceded he would likely miss an extended period of time, regardless.

“It sucks,” Miller told Nick Piecoro of AZCentral on Thursday. “It’s not good news. You never want to be put in this kind of situation and never would you ever think it would happen to you, but it is what it is. It’s one of those things you can’t really control. I’m pretty torn up for not being able to pitch for a while.”

Acquired by the Diamondbacks two winters ago in a much-maligned trade that sent former No. 1 pick Dansby Swanson, outfielder Ender Inciarte, and right-hander Aaron Blair to the Atlanta Braves, Miller was a disaster in the first season with Arizona, stumbling to a 6.15 ERA over 20 starts while missing time with various injuries. Miller, an All-Star in 2014, got off to a strong start this year, throwing with renewed velocity and putting up a 3.50 ERA over three starts before his elbow tightened up Sunday in his fourth outing of the young season.

It’s not yet clear who will replace Miller in the Diamondbacks’ rotation. Archie Bradley, a former top prospect who has thrived early this season in a relief role, is a candidate to take the vacant starting job, though the club could also promote either Braden Shipley or Anthony Banda from Triple-A Reno to take his spot.


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