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D-backs’ Miller placed on DL four starts into Tommy John return

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Shelby Miller watches a throw to a Colorado Rockies batter during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, July 11, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

The Arizona Diamondbacks placed starting pitcher Shelby Miller on the 10-day disabled list Thursday due to right elbow inflammation that cropped up in a loss to the Colorado Rockies a day prior.

Long reliever T.J. McFarland was also placed on the 10-day disabled list due to a neck strain. The D-backs recalled reliever Silvino Bracho and starter Matt Koch to replace Miller and McFarland.

McFarland lasted just 0.1 innings Wednesday and left with a neck tightness in the 19-2 loss at Colorado.

Miller’s Wednesday start in Denver, his fourth game since returning from Tommy John surgery, ended after he’d allowed five earned runs while walking two in 1.0 innings. Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said Miller felt right elbow tightness, and the team sent Miller back to Phoenix for further evaluation.

Miller underwent Tommy John surgery on his elbow May 10, 2017, before he began his comeback on May 11 of this year with a extended spring appearance at Salt River Fields. The right-hander went 0-4 in his MLB starts, allowing 19 earned runs over 15.0 innings pitched for a 11.40 ERA.

Arizona had yet to announce the severity of Miller’s setback as of Thursday morning.

Koch has started 12 of 13 appearances for the Diamondbacks this season, posting a 5-4 record and 4.40 ERA. Arizona has gone 7-5 in games he’s started.

For the D-backs, Bracho has 15.2 innings under his belt this year with three earned runs allow  (1.72 ERA), 22 strikeouts and five walks.

With only four games left before the All-Star break, Koch and Bracho could both be used out of the bullpen with Miller’s spot in the rotation not requiring another start before the first half of the year ends.

The D-backs’ bullpen has been used extensively over the last four games, and their Wednesday loss saw position players Daniel Descalso and Alex Avila pitch the final 4.2 innings as manager Torey Lovullo attempted to limit the use of his relievers’ arms.

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