The St. Louis Cardinals are still hoping for big things from young right-handed pitcher Shelby Miller.
He burst onto the scene when he initially arrived, looking to be every bit the potential ace that scouting reports made him out to be. But nothing but enigma has followed, leading to Miller’s odd absence from the 2013 post-season and frustratingly inconsistent performances from him in 2014.
Through 19 starts this season Miller is 7-8 with a 4.29 ERA. More concerning is the fact that his strikeouts are down and his walks are up. Combined with some dips in velocity, the Cardinals are willing to attribute some of Miller’s struggles to arm fatigue.
With that in mind, the team announced on Saturday that they were moving Miller to the bullpen.
— Derrick Goold (@dgoold) July 18, 2014
This may or may not portend a more significant issue for Miller. If the 23-year-old only stays in the ‘pen briefly, making another start within the next couple weeks, there might be nothing to see here. But if he remains in the bullpen or if he ends up with an injury due to fatigue, it would stand to be a bigger issue. Time will tell exactly what his status is, so it will be interesting to see how he looks as a reliever.
As for the state of the Cardinals, a team already rumored to be in the market for starting pitching, this might ramp up their efforts to make a trade.