(BaseballStL) -- Shelby Miller tossed on his uniform with ease in the clubhouse Thursday and chuckled at the throng of reporters, myself included, who crowded in to see his status.
After exiting in the first inning following a line drive off his elbow, the young starter's status has been a question mark and point of concern for fans.
Prior to playing catch before the final game with the Dodgers, the young hurler insisted he was not feeling any ill effects.
"I was more sore last night than today," he said. "I expected it to be worse than it was." Despite his elbow sporting the tell tale lace marks that show up after a ball uses skin as a backstop, he moved smoothly and did not seem to be experiencing any pain.
"I woke up knowing nothing was wrong," he insisted. "My arm is more sore after I pitch than it is now. Say I threw 100 pitches last night, my arm would probably feel worse today than it does after getting hit by a 100 mile per hour come-backer off your elbow."
Mike Matheny said the club will take it slow with Miller, as they have throughout the season. The Cardinals have remained cautious with their young arms, but as Miller played catch on the field, Matheny was relieved that the injury appears to be minor.
"That was scary," the manager said. "You never know how that's going to turn out."
Miller acknowledged his situation could have been much different Thursday morning if the ball had hit anywhere else on his elbow.
"It hit more muscle than anything. I have two bones and it hit right in-between, missed both by not even an inch so I got lucky" he said. "It could have been way worse than it was."
The 21-year-old has a 2.89 ERA in his 22 starts. As the cardinals move back into divisional play this weekend, all eyes will be on the starting rotation. Miller remains confident he'll be ready to go against the Pirates after the Cubs come to town.
"No, I'm not missing a start" he said. "I haven't been told anything. Whenever my day is, I'll be ready. "