In a shocking twist, the San Francisco Giants have made — gasp! — yet another move! Prior to their series finale against the Colorado Rockies on Thursday, the team announced that they had purchased the contract of AAA right-handed reliever Shelby Miller. To make room on the roster for Miller, right-handed reliever Cole Waites was optioned.
#SFGiants roster moves:— SFGiants (@SFGiants) September 22, 2022
• RHP Shelby Miller contract selected from Triple-A Sacramento
• RHP Cole Waites optioned to Triple-A Sacramento
It’s a pretty inconsequential move in terms of helping the Giants win games, but then again, the Giants aren’t really in the business of winning games. They’re looking towards 2023, and this serves as an audition for Miller, a 31 year old with nine years of MLB experience.
He’s been solid in AAA Sacramento this year, with a 3.62 ERA, a 3.83 FIP, and 12.3 strikeouts per nine innings to 4.2 walks. And he was even better earlier in the year with the New York Yankees AAA affiliate.
The Giants are hoping they can tap into what made Miller an exciting talent when he was younger. He finished third in Rookie of the Year voting in 2013, sporting a 3.06 ERA and a 3.67 FIP as a starter on the St. Louis Cardinals. And he was an All-Star in 2015 with the Arizona Diamondbacks when he had a 3.02 ERA and a 3.45 FIP, though somehow still managed to lead the Majors in losses due to that team being so awful.
But since 2019 he’s pitched sparingly and awfully, accumulating a 9.17 ERA, a 6.63 FIP, and 57 strikeouts to 48 walks in 72.2 innings. It’s a tale of two careers with Miller, and the Giants are hoping to see a glimpse of the first one.
Speaking of glimpses, Waites looked quite nice in his short stint with the Giants, where he made his MLB debut and pitched five games. He’ll certainly factor into the bullpen next season. For those wondering why the Giants optioned a promising youngster in favor of a potentially washed-up veteran, it likely is half to see what they’ve got, and half because Thursday is a bullpen game and Waites pitched on Wednesday.
If Miller and recent roster-addition Jharel Cotton both pitch for the Giants in the coming days, that will put them at 64 players used this season, tying the franchise record that they set in 2019.