There is no way to sugar-coat this, Shelby Miller has been horrible for the Texas Rangers this season. It’s starting to become a question of when he will be designated for assignment, rather than if he will turn it around.
In nine games for the Texas Rangers this season, it has been very tough to watch Shelby Miller play. This season he has a 10.27 ERA in nine games (eight starts), and in May alone his ERA has been 15.68. Over his last three innings, Miller has given up 12 (!!!!) runs.
Since Miller time is just about over, it is now time to be on the look out for options that can replace him on the roster. Since he will likely be DFA’d, it will free up a spot on the 40 man roster if there is a pitcher that the Rangers would like to call up that is not currently on the 40.
Possible Replacement Options?
The Rangers have a few options in Frisco and Nashville that could be called up for when they part ways with Miller.
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Joe Palumbo-Frisco RoughRiders
Palumbo, the Rangers 7th overall prospect, according to MLB.com, has been very good this season in AA, posting a 3.64 ERA across seven starts. The 24-year-old flew through the Rangers farm system last year, starting the season in the rookie league, and ending in Frisco. Palumbo would be the second of the wave of the older, more advanced Rangers pitchers, to make his debut, if they call him up (Taylor Hearn was the first).
Tyler Phillips-Frisco RoughRiders
Phillips, the Rangers 13th overall prospect, was called up to the RoughRiders from the Rangers A+ team, a few weeks ago, and has made two starts, posting an 0-1 record with a 3.97 ERA. It would be pretty surprising to see him be called up to the majors, given that he is just starting to get his feet wet in AA.
Brock Burke-Frisco RoughRiders
Burke, the Rangers 9th overall prospect, was the highlight of the Jurickson Profar trade in the off-season for the Rangers but has been a bit frustrating with injury issues thus far. In three starts so far this season, he is 0-2 with a 3.86 ERA but hasn’t pitched in over a month now, due to a nagging blister, and shoulder fatigue.
Tim Dillard-Nashville Sounds
Dillard was signed in the off-season by the Rangers and hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012, but he would for sure be an interesting guy to have called up. During Spring Training, fans found him very… entertaining, as his shenanigans on social media were very fun to follow. He currently has a 5.30 ERA in four starts (12 appearances) in 37.1 innings.
Taylor Hearn-10-day IL
Hearn is expected to be out for a few more weeks with his elbow issues, so it would not be too surprising if the Rangers held on to Miller until Hearn was ready to return. Hearn was pretty bad in his MLB debut, giving up four earned runs, while only recording one out before leaving, but this can likely be attributed to his injury. Hearn is expected to be back in early June, but he would likely need a rehab start or two before his return to the majors (if all goes well), making it more likely to be a mid-June return for him.
The Texas Rangers have a few options to replace Shelby Miller, but not many. Are they better? More than likely. But players like Palumbo, Phillips, Burke, and Hearn are guys that should not be rushed up from the minors, or back from injury, and risk further injuries or messing up their development.