Spring Training may be reaching the halfway point but the biggest battle in Jupiter for the St. Louis Cardinals will come to a close.
The Cardinals entered Spring Training attempting to put together the final spot of their rotation. The battle has come down to the young right arms of Shelby Miller and Joe Kelly. Today, one of those young men will take a big step forward towards the 2013 rotation. The other will have some other questions to answer.
The issue here is the timing of Spring Training and the regimen that pitching coach Derek Lilliquist lays out for the pitchers.
Every starter is building his pitch count to be able to reach the 100 pitch threshold by opening day. As starters get stretched out, and the rotation takes shape, it becomes harder and harder to get long outings for six starters. The rotation will begin throwing every five days and stretching out higher and higher pitch counts.
Joe Kelly will start today. Shelby Miller will be the first arm out of the bullpen. At the end of the day, one of the young men will start again in five days. The other, well, that is to be determined.
That may be the true question. Not the question of who rounds out the Major League rotation but the question of what happens with the other one may be of equal importance. Does he go to Memphis to start there? Does he remain in St. Louis and in the bullpen? What best serves the Cardinals in 2013 and in the future?
One question will be answered today.
The rest will develop soon.
Bill Ivie is the editor here at i70baseball.
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