Report: Pittsburgh Pirates Sign Veteran Starting Pitcher

Jul 5, 2018; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Shelby Miller in the dugout prior to the game against the San Diego Padres at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 5, 2018; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Shelby Miller in the dugout prior to the game against the San Diego Padres at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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According to Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Pittsburgh Pirates have signed veteran starting pitcher Shelby Miller to a minor league contract

It appears that the Pittsburgh Pirates have added to the organization’s pitching depth. According to Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Pirates have signed veteran starting pitcher Shelby Miller to a minor league contract.

According to Mackey, once Miller clears COVID protocol he will report to Triple-A Indianapolis. This addition will add to the pitching depth that the Pittsburgh Pirates have in their organization. While it is not confirmed, odds are, Miller will join Indy’s starting rotation.

Earlier this season Miller pitched 3 games out of the bullpen for the Chicago Cubs. In those 3 games he pitched 2 innings, allowing 7 runs on 7 hits, 5 walks and a strikeout. This came after Miller did not pitch at all in 2020 as he opted out of the season due to COVID-19 concerns after signing with the Milwaukee Brewers.

Miller was a long-time foe of the Pittsburgh Pirates as he spent the first 3 seasons of his MLB career with the St. Louis Cardinals. Miller has also pitched for the Atlanta Braves, Arizona Diamondbacks and Texas Rangers.

In his MLB career Miller has pitched in 153 games, making 132 starts. Miller has pitched 760.1 innings in these 153 outings, posting a 4.18 ERA, 4.17 FIP, 9.2% walk rate, 19.0% strikeout rate and he’s allowed home runs at a rate of 0.98 HR/9.

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Adding Miller to the fold simply adds pitching depth to the organization, and no organization can ever have too much pitching depth. With the Pittsburgh Pirates, as well as every other team in baseball, looking to be as conservative as possible with young arm’s work loads after last season, adding Miller can help some younger arms limit their work load with Miller eating innings, both at Triple-A and in the Big Leagues.

For example, the Pirates were already going to want to be safe with Miguel Yajure. Factor in Yajure’s injury and when he returns they will really look to limit his work load. With Miller now in the fold, it makes it easier for the Pirates to help limit the workloads of pitchers like Yajure. Signing Miller is similar to them signing Trevor Cahill before the start of the season for this reason.

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