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Shelby Miller to return to D-backs, will start Wednesday vs. Giants

Arizona Diamondbacks' Shelby Miller (26) throws against the San Francisco Giants during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Friday, July 1, 2016, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
LISTEN: Chip Hale, D-backs' Manager

He’s back.

Or more accurately, he will be.

Shelby Miller, demoted to the minor leagues to work on mechanical and performance issues on July 14, will be on the mound for the Arizona Diamondbacks Wednesday afternoon against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park.

Arizona manager Chip Hale made the official announcement prior to the team’s game against the Giants Tuesday.

The right-hander, whom the D-backs traded for last December, has pitched well since being optioned to Reno, posting a 5-1 record with a 3.91 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP while striking out 55 and walking only 10.

Those numbers are a far cry from what Miller did at the Major-League level with Arizona. The 25-year-old went 2-9 with a 7.14 ERA and a 1.75 WHIP in 69.1 innings over 14 starts.

Hale is confident that Miller has earned another shot with the D-backs as the season heads into its final month.

“No doubt about it,” he told Burns and Gambo Tuesday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “He’s pitched well enough — I know his last outing wasn’t great on Thursday — but his numbers, they mandate him to get back here and start pitching in the big leagues again.”

That last start came against Tacoma last week. Miller lasted just 4.2 innings, scattering nine hits and allowing four earned runs while fanning four. He threw 112 pitches (72 for strikes) and didn’t get a decision in Reno’s 11-5 win.

Hale says he saw what he wanted to from Miller before summoning him back to the Majors.

“I think the one thing maybe I wanted to see was being able to get out of problems and minimizing damage,” Hale said. “I think that’s his biggest deal right now. (With the D-backs), he’d throw three perfect innings and then in the fourth inning, they’d get four or five runs off him and he couldn’t stop the damage.

“Down there, he’s done that. He’s had some issues where guys have got on and he’s been able to strand them. He’s been able to, with bases loaded and nobody out, give up one run instead of five. He’s done that down there. He’s throwing the ball well, his velocity has been great, his pitches have all been working. It’s time to see him again.”

Miller hasn’t pitched in a Major-League game since July 6, when he was touched up for six earned runs in five innings of a 13-6 loss to the San Diego Padres at Chase Field.

He’s faced Wednesday’s opponent, the Giants, three times this year. On April 21, Miller had to leave the contest after two innings in San Francisco because of a mechanical issue that had him dragging his pitching hand across the mound on follow-through. He pitched decently against the Giants on May 13 at Chase Field, yielding three runs over 5.2 innings in a 3-1 loss. Then on July 1, Miller went six innings, allowing eight hits and five runs in an 8-5 loss.

In his career against San Francisco, Miller is 2-3 with a 3.38 ERA in seven starts (40 innings).

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