Jaime Garcia is questionable for the start of the season, Lance Lynn might not be in the rotation after his extended turd-flinging, Lohse is gone, the Cardinals coaching staff can make any fifth starter an ace… These are just some of the reasons why Shelby Miller should be in the Cardinals 2013 rotation. The final answer on that will probably be decided on the last few days of Spring Training. In 2012, he was called up towards the end of the season and gave a 10.54 K-rate and a 1.32 ERA in 13 2/3 innings. If you look up that stat line in the thesaurus, its synonym is “lights out.” Due to a butterfly flapping its wings in Indonesia, Miller also had a 10.54 K-rate in Triple-A through 136 2/3 IP. His ERA wasn’t as purdy, but he “re-committed” himself in the 2nd half of 2012 and had a 2.88 ERA in his last ten starts with a 70/7 K/BB. Weird cause I had an aunt who was “re-committed” and things didn’t turn out half as well. So, what can we expect of Shelby Miller for 2013 fantasy baseball?
The young righty hits 93 MPH regularly and can drop a hook and a changeup with similar effectiveness. Occasionally, he’ll lose command of the off-speed junk, but he doesn’t need to throw them, due to his fastball. In his first and only major league start, he took a no-hitter into the 6th innings vs. the Reds and ended up with six shutout innings, throwing 48 fastballs out of seventy pitches. When a pitcher doesn’t “need” to throw anything but the speedball there’s a chance for greatness. Greatness comes if he locates the other pitches. He can be a number one pitcher. When I say that about a 22-year-old, we’re talking about someone having the possibility for a top ten pitcher in all of baseball. Knowing the way Cardinals turn out young men… Um, I mean, knowing the way the St. Louis Cardinals can turn prospects into solid major league pitchers (the Vatican asked me to specify), I wouldn’t be surprised to see Shelby Miller AND (caps for emphasis, not aesthetics) Trevor Rosenthal find themselves productive members of the Cards rotation in 2013. For this year, I’m a bit more excited about Shelby Miller than Trevor Bauer (and Rosenthal, for that matter). For 2013, I see 10-4/3.63/1.27/155 in 150 innings and 21 starts. That’s a huge projection for a rookie pitcher. And there’s a chance for more. Remember, a ‘Sheldon’ can do your income taxes. If you need a root canal, Sheldon’s your man, but humping and pumping is not Sheldon’s strong suit. It’s the name. “Do it to me Sheldon,” “You’re an animal Sheldon,” “Ride me big Sheldon.” Doesn’t work. On the other hand, Shelby works fine.