Last week, when the Cubs had to put, well, one of the dozen guys on the Injured List, the IL and 40-man crunch meant that one of the pitchers was gonna have to get bounced from the 40-man. That was Shelby Miller, who was designated for assignment a week ago, and has now been released, according to the team transactions page. (Tyson Miller was subsequently DFA’d, too, and we await the resolution on that one.)
Miller, 30, looked fantastic when the Cubs scouted him, apparently, and looked equally fantastic in Spring Training and early on at Iowa. He got called up into the bullpen, struggled badly with control, was put on the IL with a bad back, and then was rehabbing (again, quite successfully) at Iowa in May. Apparently the Cubs felt he was the guy they could most afford to lose, and when there was no trade available, they let him go. I have no doubt he’ll catch on somewhere else, and might even continue his turnaround.
It sucks to lose Miller for nothing, but the flip side of that is that he was a minor league signing for the Cubs who was far from a certainty to contribute meaningful innings in a very crowded bullpen. It probably would’ve taken a rash of injuries in the bullpen and/or in the rotation for him to get his next shot, and while that could definitely still happen – nothing is certain – the Cubs needed positional guys. Best of luck to Miller on the next stop in his comeback.