Shelby Miller's rehab moves to Visalia for Thursday start

BY foxsports • June 8, 2016

PHOENIX -- Shelby Miller's recovery from an ailing ERA and bruised fingers will take the next step on Thursday when he pitches for High-A Visalia against Lancaster.

Miller threw about 65 pitches in an Extended Spring Training game in Mesa on Saturday and said he's scheduled to throw about 85 pitches on Thursday.

Manager Chip Hale said Miller could end up making two minor-league starts in order to get his pitch count up around 100.

"Everything's good, I feel great," Miller said. "I've got a little bit more feel for my pitches. We'll see where I'm at (on Thursday). I'm just ready to get back here."

Miller's first season with the Diamondbacks has been a nightmare from the start. In 10 starts he has a 1-6 record and 7.09 ERA, giving up 10 home runs in 45 2/3 innings. In this third start of the season, he hurt the fingers on his pitching hand while scraping them on the mound on his follow-through. He tinkered with his mechanics and continued to start every fifth game, but the results continued to deteriorate until the team placed him on the disabled list following a May 26 loss at Pittsburgh.

Special assistant/pitching consultant Dave Duncan who was the pitching coach in the Cardinals organization when Miller got his start in professional ball, was part of the Diamondbacks' contingent that watched Miller pitch on Saturday.

"It was nice to have him there, someone who's seen me since 2009," Miller said. "He didn't have too much for me, but he definitely gave me some pointers that will help."

While Miller's trip to the disabled list is probably as much about a mental break as a physical one, Miller said he's anxious to get back on the field.

"I feel like I'm ready to compete," he said. "Even when things aren't right, I want to help the team win however I can. Obviously I wasn't doing a good job of that, but you're always anxious to get back and have that opportunity to be in the games and compete at the highest level."

Miller said his confidence remains intact.

"Obviously when you're struggling a little bit and guys are hitting you better than you're used to, you might get a little curious as to what's going on and might lose a little confidence, but at the end of the day, it's a team sport. You go out there and try to do the best you can.

"As a professional athlete, you've got to carry confidence always. For me personally, it's just I haven't been pitching good. I'm not losing any confidence. I'm just not making the pitches I need to make."

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