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Cardinals demote top prospects Shelby Miller, Zack Cox

Mar 14, 2012, 6:45 PM EDT

Shelby Miller Getty Images

Any speculation that Shelby Miller might be the choice to replace Chris Carpenter in early April ended Wednesday with the Cardinals’ decision to reassign him to minor league camp.

Among the others also demoted today were fellow starter Brandon Dickson and third baseman Zack Cox.

Miller, one of baseball’s top prospects, went 11-6 with a 2.77 ERA between high-A Palm Beach and Double-A Springfield last season. He disappointed a bit with his velocity while allowing four runs in 4 1/3 innings this spring, but given that he’s just getting warmed up, it probably isn’t something to worry about.

Dickson, 27, made his major league debut with the Cardinals last summer, allowing three runs over 8 2/3 innings in one start and three relief appearances. He’s another one of the team’s fallback rotation options this season, though a far less exciting one than Miller.

Cox, a 2010 first-round pick, was 2-for-9 with five strikeouts this spring. He and Miller were teammates for most of last season, with both moving up from the FSL to the Texas League partway through. They’ll likely both return to Springfield to start this season.

  1. paperlions - Mar 14, 2012 at 7:45 PM

    Any speculation that Miller might replace Carpenter early any the season was pure foolishness. The Cardinals were never going to mess with their development plan for their top prospect by pushing him up to the majors at least a year ahead of schedule to make some fill-in starts. That would have been 12 kinds of stupid.

  2. stex52 - Mar 15, 2012 at 8:25 AM

    This sounds like exactly what the Cards said they were going to do. If Carpenter is a problem, you look for a free agent or trades. Any messing with a future #1/#2 pitcher’s development for temporary gain could cost millions in lost value.

    • stlouis1baseball - Mar 15, 2012 at 10:37 AM

      Exactly. But equally important to remember is the fact there are (3) pitchers in the pen who have starting experience. I would like to see Shelby make the move to AAA sooner rather than later though.

  3. stex52 - Mar 15, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    Point taken. They do have a few more options than most.

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