Results tagged ‘ Shelby Miller ’

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.

-M.

Saturday camp tidbits: Bullpen, bullpen, bullpen!

This is my second-to-last day in camp. We’ll have tidbits tomorrow, then I head back to StL on Monday and rejoin the club in Springfield on Tuesday. Then a Wednesday workout, and Opening Day, y’all. It’s coming quickly.

* TLR said they were encouraged by how Brian Tallet is doing today. Still a bit of a vague situation, but it sounds like things are better than expected. Tallet has some groin soreness.

* While it’s unlikely that the Cardinals will take 13 pitchers north to open the season, TLR sounded as though they might go to 13 soon after. The Cards have a 10-games-in-10-days road trip after their opening homestand, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see them add an eighth reliever for that trip.

* I asked this morning whether one option for dealing with some bullpen worries was to stretch Franklin out for 4-5 outs more often this year, and was told that’s not really in the picture.

* The manager also said he thinks there’s a good chance they’ll have the 25-man roster settled before they go to Springfield.

* Speaking of Springfield, it’ll pretty much be a skeleton crew playing the other game that day. The Cardinals do have a game in Jupiter on Tuesday in addition to the Springfield game, but unless the weather is really miserable up north, it will be all Minor Leaguers for the game here at Roger Dean.

* Couple of notes from the back fields yesterday: Shelby Miller pitched four innings for Palm Beach against Jupiter, allowing one run, one hit and one walk and striking out six. Zack Cox, also playing for Palm Beach, went 2-for-3 with a home run.

And, finally, the playlist:

Aimee Mann, “Red Vines”
Buffalo Tom, “Kitchen Door”
Velocity Girl, “Lose Something”
The Hold Steady, “First Night”
The Beatles, “Golden Slumbers”

-M.

Saturday camp tidbits: Bullpen, bullpen, bullpen!

This is my second-to-last day in camp. We’ll have tidbits tomorrow, then I head back to StL on Monday and rejoin the club in Springfield on Tuesday. Then a Wednesday workout, and Opening Day, y’all. It’s coming quickly.
* TLR said they were encouraged by how Brian Tallet is doing today. Still a bit of a vague situation, but it sounds like things are better than expected. Tallet has some groin soreness. 
* While it’s unlikely that the Cardinals will take 13 pitchers north to open the season, TLR sounded as though they might go to 13 soon after. The Cards have a 10-games-in-10-days road trip after their opening homestand, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see them add an eighth reliever for that trip.
* I asked this morning whether one option for dealing with some bullpen worries was to stretch Franklin out for 4-5 outs more often this year, and was told that’s not really in the picture.
* The manager also said he thinks there’s a good chance they’ll have the 25-man roster settled before they go to Springfield.
* Speaking of Springfield, it’ll pretty much be a skeleton crew playing the other game that day. The Cardinals do have a game in Jupiter on Tuesday in addition to the Springfield game, but unless the weather is really miserable up north, it will be all Minor Leaguers for the game here at Roger Dean.
* Couple of notes from the back fields yesterday: Shelby Miller pitched four innings for Palm Beach against Jupiter, allowing one run, one hit and one walk and striking out six. Zack Cox, also playing for Palm Beach, went 2-for-3 with a home run.
And, finally, the playlist:
Aimee Mann, “Red Vines”
Buffalo Tom, “Kitchen Door”
Velocity Girl, “Lose Something”
The Hold Steady, “First Night”
The Beatles, “Golden Slumbers”
-M.

Saturday camp tidbits: Bullpen, bullpen, bullpen!

This is my second-to-last day in camp. We’ll have tidbits tomorrow, then I head back to StL on Monday and rejoin the club in Springfield on Tuesday. Then a Wednesday workout, and Opening Day, y’all. It’s coming quickly.

* TLR said they were encouraged by how Brian Tallet is doing today. Still a bit of a vague situation, but it sounds like things are better than expected. Tallet has some groin soreness. 
* While it’s unlikely that the Cardinals will take 13 pitchers north to open the season, TLR sounded as though they might go to 13 soon after. The Cards have a 10-games-in-10-days road trip after their opening homestand, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see them add an eighth reliever for that trip.
* I asked this morning whether one option for dealing with some bullpen worries was to stretch Franklin out for 4-5 outs more often this year, and was told that’s not really in the picture.
* The manager also said he thinks there’s a good chance they’ll have the 25-man roster settled before they go to Springfield.
* Speaking of Springfield, it’ll pretty much be a skeleton crew playing the other game that day. The Cardinals do have a game in Jupiter on Tuesday in addition to the Springfield game, but unless the weather is really miserable up north, it will be all Minor Leaguers for the game here at Roger Dean.
* Couple of notes from the back fields yesterday: Shelby Miller pitched four innings for Palm Beach against Jupiter, allowing one run, one hit and one walk and striking out six. Zack Cox, also playing for Palm Beach, went 2-for-3 with a home run.
And, finally, the playlist:
Aimee Mann, “Red Vines”
Buffalo Tom, “Kitchen Door”
Velocity Girl, “Lose Something”
The Hold Steady, “First Night”
The Beatles, “Golden Slumbers”
-M.

Friday camp tidbits: A (gasp!) normal day?

Greetings from what, at the moment, appears to be a normal, relatively quiet day at camp. Here are some of the tidbits from this morning’s session with TLR. Of course, check the site as the day goes on for fleshed-out versions of most of this, as well as for a feature on Mitchell Boggs.

* Lance Berkman is getting a day off from most of the defensive drills. TLR described it as simply a maintenance day after Berkman went full-on the past two days.
* TLR said that David Freese is feeling great, but that they won’t want to push Freese. As a result, Freese will play some in the early games, but not a great deal. Allen Craig, Daniel Descalso and Ramon Vazquez will all be candidates for a start or two at third base. Tyler Greene will probably play more at shortstop than at third this spring.
* The Cardinals will try to have “coaches’ games” each of the next two days, though it may be tough tomorrow. The club has a Spring Training season-ticket-holders’ reception after tomorrow’s workout, limiting how late in the day they can go. A portion of tomorrow’s workout will take place within the stadium rather than on the practice fields.
* Shelby Miller’s opportunities to pitch in the main ‘A’ games will probably be reduced as a secondary consequence of Adam Wainwright’s injury. The new fifth-starter competition means that more pitchers will be stretched out longer, which could squeeze out some innings for Miller.
* Adam Ottavino is a little bit behind some of the other fifth-starter candidates, in part because he’s coming off of health issues and didn’t pitch at all at the end of last year. TLR said that if Ottavino is the best, the club wouldn’t hesitate to use him, but that he’s definitely starting at a disadvantage.
* Boggs is one pitcher who will NOT be considered to start, despite his past experience.
And today’s playlist…
The Beatles, “Oh! Darling”
Elvis Costello, “Deep Dark Truthful Mirror”
The White Stripes, “Ball & Biscuit”
Keith Richards, “999″
Gregg Allman, “Just Another Rider”
-M.

Miller, Carpenter honored

The Cardinals were lauded for their 2009 Draft, and on Friday it became clearer why. A pair of 2009 Draftees earned the club’s Minor League player and pitcher of the year awards, announced on Friday morning.
First-rounder Shelby Miller, rated the club’s top prospect basically since the day he signed a professional contract, was named the top pitcher in the organization for the 2010 season. Matt Carpenter, a 13th-round selection in that same Draft, emerged as one of the fastest-rising players in the system and garnered top player laurels.
Both will be recognized at the annual St. Louis Baseball Writers’ Dinner, which is set for Sunday, Jan. 16 at the Millennium Hotel in downtown St. Louis.
Miller, who turned 20 after the season ended, was drafted out of a Texas high school and enjoyed a superb first full pro season pitching at Class A Quad Cities. The 19th overall selection in 2009, he went 7-5 with a 3.62 ERA in 24 starts at Quad Cities. Miller struck out 140 batters against 33 walks and permitted seven home runs all season.
He appeared in the XM All-Star Futures Game in Anaheim, turning in a respectable if brief showing in the Futures Game. Miller allowed an infield hit that was erased on a caught-stealing, and got a groundball out, before he was lifted.
Carpenter, who turns 25 later this month, was selected out of Texas Christian University. He played at three levels in 2009 and two in 2010. A third baseman, Carpenter began the ’10 season at Class A Palm Beach but quickly made his way to Double-A Springfield, and he kept hitting all the while. Overall in 2010, Carpenter batted .309 with a .418 on-base percentage and a .471 slugging percentage.
In 105 games at Springfield, Carpenter put up a .316/.412/.487 line, with 12 homers, 26 doubles, 53 RBIs and 76 runs scored. He also stole 11 bases in 13 attempts and drew 64 walks.
-M.

Thursday camp tidbits

We’re hoping to dodge the rain today. There’s bad weather all over the state, though right now it seems to be getting a little better here in Jupiter. Here’s hoping.

* Rich Hill will start tomorrow’s game against the Red Sox, with Kyle McClellan pitching after him. It’s the fair way, since the two are competing for a spot and McClellan started the last time they pitched on the same day.
* Not much new on Albert Pujols or Matt Holliday today, but that’s to be expected. Here’s TLR:
“My hope is that we use ultimate care and concern and err on the side of waiting [with Pujols].
“I haven’t talked much to Matt. Talked to Albert. He feels better. But I don’t know if he can be cleared. He’s talking about this weekend, but we’ll see.”
* Shelby Miller will likely get another game appearance before he’s sent out. It’s not a certainty, but TLR said today that it’s probable.
“As long as we’re keeping him in shape and he’s getting some outings, [he's fine to stay in big league camp],” La Russa said. “He’s going to pitch in the Minor Leagues. So whenever it’s better for him, and if we’re not doing enough for him here… But I think he’ll probably get another appearance. We’re not that deep.”
Today’s playlist comes straight off the great WOXY over the course of this morning:
Pixies, “Monkey Gone To Heaven”
April Smith and the Great Picture Show, “Movie Loves A Screen”
Gorillaz, “On Melancholy Hill”
New Pornographers, “Your Hands (Together)”
Jayhawks, “Waiting For the Sun”
-M.

Wednesday camp tidbits: Craig and Miller get noticed

Another warm, sunny day in Jupiter today, though it sounds like rain is coming soon.

Lots and lots of news out of Cardinals camp today, and of course some of it is already on the site — most notably Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday being scratched. But as for what’s not on the site, here goes…
* Allen Craig doubled and homered in his first Grapefruit League game of the year, and he caught TLR’s attention. La Russa’s comments on Craig after the game were really striking, and definitely worth taking note of.
“It shows me that we better pay attention every time he hits,” La Russa said. “What did I say before the game? He’ll have to hit his way on the team, right? … A guy hangs a changeup 2-0 and he gets to it, that’s impressive.
“We didn’t have a lot of other guys center it against him. Mock, I like his arm. [Craig] will  be out there again tomorrow.”
Asked if Craig might be the kind of player who could help as a pinch-hitter, La Russa answered:
“I don’t want to assign any roles to him till he gets on the club. I just think, take a look at him. I know that they say that in the last couple of months, he was as good as any hitter there was in the PCL. He really got it going. And this is his first action since then, and he gets two hits. So, what did you see? He’s here. he came in to get a shot, and he’s overcome the [quadriceps injury] and he’s got a lot of the spring left.”
Craig himself, meanwhile, had a philosophical comment on his attempt to hit his way onto the team:
“That’s what I’m good at,” he said. “I’m good at hitting. So that’s what I’m going to have to do to make the team. I don’t think that’s really anything new.”
* Also catching the attention of the field staff was Shelby Miller, who pitched a scoreless seventh inning.
“I was really impressed,” La Russa said. “Dunc has been saying this young guy has really got a good idea already. The one [wild] pitch was a cross-up. I thought he had good stuff. his composure was outstanding.
“He had some of the best composure out there for any pitcher on either side today. That’s a good test. He’s out there for the first time. he could have been a lot shakier than that and we’d have said, ‘Hey, what’s the big deal, as long as you’ve got talent.’ But he’s really impressive.”
* Mitchell Boggs gave up a home run, but overall showed significant progress from his first outing. He struck out three, didn’t walk anyone and was better in his second inning than his first.
* No additional cuts are likely until the end of the weekend.
* I mentioned on Twitter today how impressed I was by what Chris Duncan had to say regarding his last couple of years and his parting of ways with the Cardinals. I only got a little bit of it in the story, so I wanted to include some more here. It really stood out to me how mature, self-aware and reasonable he was about the whole situation.
Asked about the day he was traded: “It was kind of weird. But obviously they were getting ready to get Holliday and somebody had to go. I wasn’t playing well. It was probably better for me to go somewhere else where I might have a better opportunity. We had so many good outfielders and we were trading for a great player.”
And this is the main stuff. Asked about whether he had any hard feelings, or anything like that:
“It was kind of tough at the end. I remember the last game I started at home, I was getting booed. And then they put Rick in and the whole crowd erupted. That’s not easy to take. You try to block it out and stay focused, but I definitely felt like it was not going good.
“The bottom line is I wasn’t playing well, and we were competing for a pennant. Every opportunity that I got that I didn’t play well was costing the team games. I think that was the toughest thing for me. Every time [La Russa] wrote me in the lineup, I just so badly wanted to contribute and do something to help the team win. I felt like I was able to do that at the beginning, but more and more, as the season went on, I wasn’t doing that. It was tough. I felt like I was letting the guys down more than anything.
“I think when I got traded we were only one game up. All those games, and every opportunity I had to play was a chance to do something to help the team win. and when I didn’t, it was tough on me. 
“I know what it means to get written into a Major League lineup for a winning team. I just kept trying to tell myself that every time I’m in there, I had a chance to do something to help the team win. I just tried to stay focused. But I think I ended like 1-for-36 or something? I wasn’t helping the team. they had a chance to bring in a great outfielder that could take them the distance. So I understand.”
Some people are going to seize on the one short bit where he talks about being booed. But seriously. Read the whole thing. A lot of grace, a lot of class. To be admired, in my opinion.
No playlist, because this is already way too late.
-M.

Monday Spring Training tidbits

It was a truly spectacular day in Fort Myers, the nicest day yet. Here’s hoping it continues.

You’ve probably already read about the day’s biggest story, Albert Pujols’ sore back. No one seems too concerned at this point.
Other stories to look for on the site this afternoon/evening include a ditty on Brendan Ryan’s soft-toss session and a longer look at Chris Carpetner after his first game of the spring. As for the tidbits, here they are…
* TLR said that he expects Shelby Miller to pitch in tomorrow’s game against the Twins in Fort Myers. 
* We talked to John Mozeliak about a few different things this morning, including whether the club has its eye on any more moves before the season starts. Here’s his answer:
“Most people, you put your club together in the offseason and you want to see how it really looks. That’s the sense I get from around the league as well.”
Asked a follow-up question specifically about whether they’re seeking right-handed relief, he said this:
“Not particularly. I want to see how these guys throw. The bullpen, in a sense, could work itself out depending on who the fifth [starter] is. I think patience is important there.”
* Trever Miller wasn’t sharp in today’s game, walking two batters. Afterward, he said he’s going to “attempt to not walk anybody else the rest of the spring.” He was frustrated but not worried about his inning.
Today’s playlist:
Neon Trees, “Animal”
The Temper Trap, “Sweet Disposition”
Ting Tings, “Shut Up And Let Me Go”
Vampire Weekend, “Giving Up the Gun”
Cribs, “We Share the Same Skies”
-M.

Monday camp tidbits: Miller, Lugo, Ryan, Walters

Clouds threatened all day here in Jupiter, but I never saw a drop of rain. It was another mild day, with temperatures getting up into the 70s — perfect day for getting some work in.

* The Cardinals will bring in top Draft pick Shelby Miller and Minor League left-hander Sam Freeman tomorrow. Technically they are not non-roster invitees, but instead early arrivals to camp. Don’t read too much into this; it’s not as though Miller is going to make the roster or even start in the high Minors. But it will be interesting to see him throw.
* More arrivals came today, the last day before full-squad workouts. Among those appearing were Julio Lugo, Brendan Ryan and P.J. Walters. Check the site for stories on both Ryan and Walters and their situations.
* Speaking of Lugo, TLR didn’t rule out the possibility of him seeing some time in the outfield, even center field, this year. Somebody has to be a right-handed-hitting option in center, and players like Lugo and Tyler Greene might well fit the bill.
* Other positional notes: the manager didn’t sound like we’ll be seeing much of Allen Craig at third base in camp. He’s more likely to be at first and in the outfield. Given the current roster configuration, it sounds like David Freese and Joe Mather will get the bulk of the time at third, and Greene could play there some as well.
* One thing you may see in some games this spring is Colby Rasmus getting more of a look against left-handed pitchers. Whereas the preference is sometimes to give Rasmus a rest against lefties during the season, Spring Training presents a perfect opportunity to get experience against them.
* Live batting practice started today, with four pitchers throwing: Mitchell Boggs, Ben Jukich, Lance Lynn and Pete Parise. Four more pitchers throw live tomorrow, and then it picks up in larger numbers on Wednesday.
Today’s playlist:
Soul Asylum, “Without a Trace”
Pixies, “Debaser”
The Clash, “Straight To Hell”
Primal Scream, “Jailbird”
The White Stripes, “My Doorbell”
-M.
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