Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Shelby Miller says he has a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament and that Tommy John surgery is an option, April 27, 2017. (Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports)
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Diamondbacks closer Fernando Rodney on Wednesday’s blown save against San Diego.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo reacts to the Padres’ comeback win.
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Wednesday night’s game against the Padres drew the smallest crowd in Diamondbacks history.
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Manager Torey Lovullo, first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and left-hander Patrick Corbin react to Tuesday’s win. Sarah McLellan/azcentral sports
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Manager Torey Lovullo, right-hander Zack Greinke and shortstop Chris Owings react to Monday’s home win over the Padres. Sarah McLellan/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks right-hander Shelby Miller did not provide many details on his elbow injury on Monday, but he is planning to receive a second opinion on Tuesday in Los Angeles. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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D-Backs’ Shelby Miller talks about arm injury suffered during the 6-2 loss to the Dodgers, April 23, 2017. (Scott Bordow/azcentral sports)
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David Peralta talks about the Diamondbacks’ offense and his record-setting four doubles Saturday.
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Diamondbacks starter Robbie Ray talks after his team’s 11-5 victory over the Dodgers.
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Manager Torey Lovullo, right-hander Taijuan Walker, shortstop Chris Owings and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt react to the 13-5 win.
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First baseman Paul Goldschmidt says the Diamondbacks couldn’t string together enough hits against the Padres on Thursday night.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about his team’s 4-1 loss to the Padres and their 4-6 road trip through San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego.
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D-Backs’ Shelby Miller considering Tommy John surgery
Fernando Rodney reacts to his blown save against the Padres
Torey Lovullo reacts to Diamondbacks’ ‘heartbreaking’ loss
Diamondbacks attendance hits new low
Diamondbacks pull away from Padres for 9-3 win
Diamondbacks hold on for win over Padres
Shelby Miller on his injury, visit with team doctor
Arizona Diamondbacks’ Shelby Miller discusses arm injury
David Peralta on his record-setting night
Robbie Ray reacts to Saturday’s win over the Dodgers
Diamondbacks use 9-run eighth to overwhelm Dodgers
Paul Goldschmidt on D-Backs’ offense vs. Padres
Manager Torey Lovullo breaks down D-Backs’ loss, road trip
Shelby Miller has a tear in the ulnar collateral ligament and a flexor strain in his elbow, and the Diamondbacks right-hander is considering undergoing Tommy John surgery, a procedure that would end his season and likely sideline him until at least the middle of 2018.
Miller, who sought medical opinions from three doctors, said he’s still deciding the best course of action, whether it be surgery or a rest-and-rehab route that also includes platelet-rich plasma and/or stem-cell injections meant to stimulate healing.
“It sucks,” Miller said. “It’s not good news. You never want to be put in this kind of situation and never would you think that it would happen to you. It is what it is. It’s just one of those things that you can’t really control. I’m pretty torn up about not being able to pitch for a while.”
Miller began experiencing tightness in his elbow during his start on Sunday afternoon against the Dodgers. It’s the latest setback for a pitcher whose time with the Diamondbacks has challenging. He struggled badly last year, spending much of the second half in the minor leagues, and appeared to be regaining his old form prior to the injury.
Miller says the extent of his elbow tear puts him in a sort of gray area in terms of whether to undergo surgery or to try to rehab.
“It’s not 100 percent torn where it’s automatic having to get surgery,” he said. “It’s just in that area where you don’t know what the future holds for it or whether it holds up or not. I’m deciding what I’m going to do.”
Even if he didn’t have surgery and tried to rehab, he likely wouldn’t be back on a mound for another three or four months – at which point, of course, it’s possible the ligament could blow out again.
MORE: Diamondbacks’ loss to Padres ‘rips your heart out’
“That’s the thing, you don’t want it to not work out and end up missing a lot more time,” Miller said. “The biggest thing is I want to be back on the field. There’s no doubt about that. I want to do that as soon as possible. But to be able to do that, is that the smartest thing to do? That’s what we’re looking into. Doing, I guess, a little more studying and go from there.”
Complicating matters, perhaps, is Miller’s contractual situation. He is making $4.7 million this year in arbitration and likely would be a nontender candidate after the season. If has the surgery right away, he might better position himself to get a contract for 2018.
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Miller underwent an MRI and visited with Diamondbacks team physician Dr. Gary Waslewski on Monday. He flew to Los Angeles on Tuesday to see orthopedist Dr. Neal ElAttrache, and on Wednesday his MRI results were sent to another renowned orthopedist, Dr. James Andrews.
“It’s a tough decision,” Miller said. “It’s not going to be easy one way or the other. There’s a lot of uncertainty involved. You don’t really know. The biggest thing is to just make sure that we’re all on board with the same thing and make sure that we’re all comfortable and not making a mistake, basically, at the end of the day. That’s why this process has been taking so long.”
In a procedural move, Miller was transferred to the 60-day disabled list, opening a spot on the 40-man roster for left-hander T.J. McFarland, whose contract was purchased from Triple-A Reno on Thursday.
Reach Piecoro at (602) 444-8680 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @nickpiecoro.