Part of a conversation with Shelby Miller
I also had the chance to chat with Shelby Miller for a while before the game today. A couple of other scribes were present at different times, and out of fairness, I didn’t include their questions in here. And some of what Miller talked about is in the story going up on Cardinals.com today.
However, there was still a good bit that I talked to Miller about that didn’t make it into the story. So, here it is…
MLB.com: Are you finding that you need to use the offpseed stuff any more at this level than you did before?
Miller: You do in situations, for sure. I can’t say that I throw more offspeed than I have before, because I don’t feel like I have. I feel like I’m still going after guys with my fastball, throwing it 70, 80 percent of the time. But you do have to throw your offspeed. You have to mix it up for sure. That’s definitely something you’ve got to do. At Palm Beach, you don’t have to really. You throw fastballs, they hit it in the air, and the ball doesn’t go anywhere. But I Double-A, it’s a great level to pitch at.
MLB.com: Has anybody tried to make the point to you that at some point before you get to St. Louis, that ratio may need to change?
Miller: What’s tough about it is, they can tell you that it has to change, but I’m not going to know until I get up there. I’ve got to know how to go after hitters. If I have Yadier Molina catching me, and he calls a pitch, I’m not going to shake him. If he calls a curveball, I’m going to throw a curveball. If it’s a full count, if it’s 2-0, I’m going to throw what he calls. Obviously he knows the hitters more than I do. I’m sure my offspeed [will be important] when I get up there.
MLB.com: Is that the main thing that needs to get better before you get to the Majors?
Miller: Yeah. For sure. I feel like my fastball is where it needs to be. It’s always been my best pitch. But throwing sinkers, throwing changeups and throwing my curveball is what I have to have refined when I get to the big leagues or else you’re going to give up runs and you’re going to get hit. That’s what I work on every day in Double-A, with my pitching coach every day, Bryan Eversgerd. And with Martinez in High A. I worked on my curveball, worked on my changeup, worked on where I wanted it to be. So far, it’s been coming around pretty good.
MLB.com: Do you follow Carlos Martinez at all? There’s a lot of talk about the two of you coming up through the system.
Miller: He’s a young kid. He’s somebody that obviously has a lot of talent, somebody who throws real hard. I know he has a good curveball. I haven’t seen his changeup that much. But he’s going to be there someday. He’s got the ability. He’s just got to do the right things. He’s got to listen to what everybody has to tell him. He’s young. He’s going through the system real fast, and I’m wishing him just as much luck to get there as fast as anybody else. I think he has the ability to pitch in the big leagues.
MLB.com: When you were drafted, you were pretty confident about a brief timetable, and it’s more or less happened that way. Is that any more realistic at this point? Do you have the Majors in sight?
Miller: I feel like I’m getting really, really close. If I keep performing and I keep doing what I’m doing right now, and I go out there and continue to have success, you never know what’s going to happen. You never know if you could get called up tomorrow and told you need to go throw some innings in the big leagues. Or it could be next year or the year after that. Whenever it is, I’ll try my hardest. When the Cardinals think I’m ready and when I know I’m ready, I think I’m going to be there.