Miller pleased with first start as competition tightens
St. Louis Cardinals prospect Shelby Miller holds a baseball while posing during the team's photo day at spring training baseball, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013 in Jupiter, Fla. . (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) By Julio Cortez
JUPITER, FL - MARCH 10: Relief pitcher Shelby Miller #91 of the St Louis Cardinals pitches against the Washington Nationals at Roger Dean Stadium on March 10, 2010 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images) By Doug Benc
VIERA, Fla. – Shelby Miller knows he’s running out of time to make his case to be the fifth starter in the Cardinals rotation.
“I know it’s getting down to the wire to where they need to make a decision,” Miller said Friday.
And the young right-hander was pleased with what he showed the Cardinals Friday in a three-inning start against the Washington Nationals. Making his first start and second appearance of the spring, Miller allowed three hits and two earned runs.
Miller worked out of trouble in the first inning and had a quick and impressive second inning before a two-out triple from Bryce Harper in the third inning put two runs on the board.
“It was good,” Miller said. “I felt good. I got myself into some jams but I felt like I did a good job pitching to get out of them. I made some pitches that I wouldn’t usually throw, getting guys out with curveballs, but I still left some up. That first hit in the third was a hanging curveball and I walked a guy out of the stretch. It just took me a while to get in the groove of things. I felt good.
“They had their whole starting lineup out there and I felt good.”
Miller said he feels like his fastball has more life this spring and has been encouraged with the progress of all of his pitches.
The right-hander is competing with Joe Kelly, his spring roommate and one of his best friends, for the fifth starters spot. Trevor Rosenthal was also in the competition but recently was switched to a bullpen role.