When you get traded for the kid taken first overall in the MLB draft less than seven months earlier, you're bound to feel a bit of pressure to perform for your new club.
According to Diamondbacks general manager Dave Stewart, such is the case for Shelby Miller, who owns an 8.69 ERA in five starts since being shipped from Atlanta to Arizona this winter for Dansby Swanson (the first selection in last year's draft), outfielder Ender Inciarte, and pitching prospect Aaron Blair.
"Shelby Miller, I think it's more, really, he's just feeling some pressure: of the trade, the players that we traded for him, trying to fit in," Stewart told MLB Network Radio on Sunday morning. "I think the whole ordeal (has) just been different for him than it was leaving St. Louis going to Atlanta."
It may have felt different for Miller this time around - he was similarly uprooted last winter when the Cardinals traded him to the Braves for Jason Heyward - but the young right-hander looked comfortable from the get-go in Atlanta, posting a 2.17 ERA through his first five starts with his new team. Frankly, even if Stewart's assessment is accurate, it's difficult to attribute such a steep regression to pressure alone, as Miller has endured marked declines in his peripheral stats and swing metrics since joining the Diamondbacks as well.
In his defense, though, Miller wasn't the only big-name offseason addition to stumble through April. Zack Greinke, who signed a record-breaking, $206.5-million deal with Arizona in December, has a 5.50 ERA so far. Still, Stewart is optimistic both his scuffling hurlers will figure it out soon.
"There have been some expectations for our ball club to win and I think he's feeling some of the pressure of that," Stewart said of Miller. "I think, like I said with Zack Greinke, he's a professional, he's been at this for a while, and for him it's just a matter of fitting in, getting some things correct with his mechanics and he's going to be fine."