March 12, 2012; Melbourne, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Shelby Miller (71) throws a pitch during spring training game against the Washington Nationals at Space Coast Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-US PRESSWIRE
After a remarkable July and August, Shelby Miller might find himself in St. Louis' bullpen in September.
St. Louis Cardinals top-prospect Shelby Miller could find himself up with the major-league club in September. Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says that there is "strong sentiment" that the prized righty will be up in St. Louis soon.
Club will deny it up to the day of announcement, but I'm hearing strong sentiment exists to promote Shelby Miller after AAA season.— Joe Strauss (@JoeStrauss) August 27, 2012
Miller's struggles have been well documented throughout the year. As a 21-year-old in Triple-A, Miller struggled mightily in the first half of the season. He was 4-8 with a 6.17 ERA in 77-1/3 innings prior to the Triple-A All-Star break, while striking out 90, walking 43 and allowing a staggering 17 home runs.
To make matters worse, prospect guru Keith Law, among others, reported that Miller's fastball was a full grade worse than it was last year.
July and August have been quite kind to Miller, however. In his last eight starts, Miller has pitched 48-1/3 innings, striking out 57 batters and walking just four.
If Miller is called up to St. Louis, he'll almost certainly be used out of the bullpen. Though the bullpen has been stabilized with the addition of Edward Mujica, the Cardinals could stand to add more effective depth there -- just look at Saturday's loss to the Reds as evidence.
Even if Miller isn't used in September, it's still excellent to see him turn around his season and force the Cardinals to consider promoting him.
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