Feldman: Cardinals' handling of Shelby Miller curious

Feldman: Cardinals' handling of Shelby Miller curious

Credit: Getty Images

ST. LOUIS, MO - MAY 17: Starter Shelby Miller #40 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches against the Atlanta Braves at Busch Stadium on May 17, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

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by Brian Feldman / BaseballStL

KMOV.com

Posted on July 18, 2014 at 6:13 PM

Updated Friday, Jul 18 at 7:37 PM

(BaseballStL) - The big news out of Busch Stadium today is the Cardinals are going to go to a four man rotation for at least the first time through to begin the unofficial start to the second half of the season.  The odd man out?  The guy pitching the worst.

Shelby Miller.

It’s not a huge surprise given the fact he’s struggled to get out of the fifth – let alone sixth – inning for the last couple months.  His breaking pitches have completely left him and Miller’s turned into a glorified one pitch pitcher who just relies on his fastball.

And I don’t care if you have Nolan Ryan’s heater.  If you can’t throw any other pitches for a strike a hitter is just going to rear back and wait for your fastball.

So the Cardinals are trying something.  They realize that with off days coming up next Monday and Thursday they can skip a fifth starter for the time being.  And instead of giving Miller extra work in Memphis to work on his offspeed pitches they’ve decided what he needs is simple rest.

Rest and rest and come back strong.

I can understand that logic.  It’s not what I would choose.  But I kind of get it.  Last year Miller did wear down at the end of his outstanding rookie season and was relegated to bullpen duty for the postseason (he only appeared once).  Maybe the Cards are trying to give him some added rest now so that late season fade doesn’t happen again.

But how is he going to continue to improve his offspeed pitches if he’s not working on them?  How’s he going to develop a better breaking ball by sitting around in the bullpen and not really pitching all that much?

The Cardinals easily could have given Miller a start in Memphis before there’s a need for another guy here in St. Louis.  Easily.  They elected not to go that route.

They chose rest over work.  We’ll see how it plays out.

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