St. Louis Cardinal fans and beat writers jumped quickly to the conclusion that Shelby Miller was “out of the competition” for a spot in the opening rotation due to reported shoulder stiffness on Wednesday.
News broke across the internet out of Jupiter, Florida on Wednesday that 22 year old Cardinal prospect Shelby Miller had sat out throwing drills on Wednesday with “shoulder tightness” according to the team. Fans held their breath and pundits declared that the three way competition between Miller, Trevor Rosenthal and Joe Kelly for the final rotation spot was now down to two.
It did not seem to matter that manager Mike Matheny downplayed the problem saying that the team was not concerned about it. No matter that the tightness appeared overnight and the righty did not feel any pain when he was throwing on Tuesday. Never mind that the pitcher himself said that he would be back by the end of the week. A fanbase that is still reeling from the loss of Chris Carpenter was ready to hit the panic button.
Thursday morning came and the team announced that Miller had been cleared to throw. While they would continue with a conservative path and not push the hurler into games this weekend, there are no restrictions on the young man at this point and they expect him to be in game action early next week.
The fifth spot in the rotation is still up for grabs and is still locked into a three-way battle between some very exciting, young arms.
Don’t count Shelby Miller out just yet.