MEMPHIS (BaseballStL) – Some extra work on his mechanics gave Cardinals top prospect Shelby Miller successful results in his first start since skipping a turn in the Redbirds rotation.
Miller has been a disappointment in his first season at Triple-A Memphis and, as a result, has spent additional time with the Cardinals pitching coordinator to work on his delivery – and so far it seems to have worked.
Last night, Miller allowed only one run in five innings of work against Albuquerque while striking out eight and walking three batters. The only run came on a solo home run.
Miller was given a ‘no-shake rule’ which meant he was to throw whatever pitch the catcher, Bryan Anderson, called for. The reasoning: Miller was forced to throw breaking balls and not just his favorite, the fastball. It is believed that opposing hitters have been sitting on the righty’s fastball, which has diminished in terms of velocity, all season long.
The strong outing didn’t do too much to lower the young prospect’s ERA which sits at a booming 5.70. Many of the runs against him have been scored via the home run ball – eleven homers have been surrendered in his last seven starts.
It was the kind of start that Miller needed considering he hadn’t allowed two or fewer runs since May 15. After a rough season, it is unlikely Miller will be named the organization’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year for a third straight season.
Miller is 4-6 and has struck out 81 batters in 71 innings pitched this season.