St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Shelby Miller has bounced back from two sub par outings and has now fanned 15 batters in his last 10 innings after tossing five shutout frames Tuesday.
Miller did not appear to be a strong consideration to make the Cards’ rotation out of spring training but it wasn’t completely ruled out until he was shipped to minor league camp in March. He’s the No. 2 starting pitching prospect in Keith Law’s Top 100 and the No. 1 arm remaining in the minors (Tampa’s Matt Moore already is in the Rays’ rotation).
Miller’s ETA could depend largely on the club’s workload plan for the right-hander, as he’s not likely to be allowed to approach 200 innings after throwing 139 2/3 last season at age 19.
Here’s what ESPN’s Keith Law had to say about Miller just prior to the start of the season:
“He will sit in the low- to mid-90s and touch 97 mph as a starter with a sharp breaking ball in the upper-70s/low-80s with good depth that misses right-handed hitters’ bats. He continued to make progress this year with his changeup, a pitch he rarely needed or used as an amateur, and the pitch has good tailing action that has helped him gets some swinging strikes against lefties. He is very receptive to coaches’ suggestions and has proved a quick study so far. He often lands on the third-base side of the rubber and comes slightly across his body, creating deception but also potentially putting stress on his shoulder. If the Cardinals can keep him more on line, and he sees more improvement in the changeup and command of the fastball, he’s a potential No. 1 starter for the Cardinals in two or three years.