The Cardinals are designating reliever Justin Miller for assignment, relays Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Twitter link). The move was necessary to create space on the 40-man roster for Jordan Hicks, who is being reinstated from the 60-day injured list in a procedural move. Players must be activated off the 60-day IL before the start of the offseason.
St. Louis added Miller off waivers from the Nationals in early July. The 34-year-old tossed 16 innings of 4.50 ERA ball with the Cards down the stretch. Miller threw strikes at a solid rate but only struck out 13.2% of opposing hitters with a meager 9.3% swinging strike rate. A fly-ball pitcher, Miller allowed five homers in 19 innings split between Washington and St. Louis, although only two of those came in a Cardinal uniform.
Miller didn’t pitch in the big leagues in 2020, but he appeared at the highest level in five of the six seasons from 2014-19. The right-hander posted big strikeout numbers with the 2015 Rockies and 2018 Nats, but he hasn’t been able to lock down a long-term bullpen role over the past few seasons due to inconsistent performance and injuries.
The Cardinals will place Miller on outright or release waivers in the coming days. Should he pass through unclaimed, he’d have the right to elect minor league free agency as a player who has previously been outrighted in his career.