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Cardinals move Shelby Miller to bullpen to give him some extra rest

Jul 19, 2014, 10:19 AM EDT

Shelby Miller Getty Getty Images

In addition to pushing back Adam Wainwright‘s first start of the second half, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com yesterday that Shelby Miller will be moved to the bullpen indefinitely.

The Cardinals will use a four-man rotation for the short-term and could potentially do so until August, as they have an off-day after each of their next three series. Miller is in his second full season as a starter and the club has been looking for a way to give him some rest. A temporary trip to the bullpen appears to be the plan.

“How long that lasts, I’m not going to say [it will be through the end of] the month,” Matheny said. “We’ll see how guys look and feel. He’s ready to go [in the bullpen]. As far as how we use him, it’s how we need him.”

After finishing third in the NL Rookie of the Year balloting last season with a 3.01 ERA over 31 starts, Miller has struggled to the tune of a 4.29 ERA and 73/54 K/BB ratio in 109 innings over 19 starts this season. His strikeout percentage is down eight percent from last season while his walks have increased by 3.5 percent. It’s a troubling combination.

  1. SocraticGadfly - Jul 19, 2014 at 11:36 AM

    Unfortunately, the Cards aren’t talking more about “why,” other than “more rest,” that they’re doing this. Is his back continuing to act up? What’s up?

    “What’s up,” so far, sounds just like how Miller was handled in last year’s postseason.

    • gibbyfan - Jul 19, 2014 at 1:14 PM

      If Kelly doesn’t pull it together and Miller remains in the bullpen, I think we will have a pretty good idea that something more than fatigue is in play.
      Sure hope Kelly does get back to form or they are going to have a pitching problem that very few would have predicted.

  2. jss1330 - Jul 19, 2014 at 1:04 PM

    All those post season innings catching up to him

  3. Carl Hancock - Jul 19, 2014 at 2:56 PM

    Don’t want your trade bait getting hurt before you can trade him…

    • SocraticGadfly - Jul 19, 2014 at 3:56 PM

      Well, some ppl rumored that about his post-season shelving last year …. didn’t make sense to me.

  4. missingdiz - Jul 19, 2014 at 4:01 PM

    “walks have increased by 3.5 percent” ?? I don’t understand how this was calculated.

    Last season 57 walks in 173 innings. This season 54 walks in 109 innings.

    • missingdiz - Jul 19, 2014 at 4:06 PM

      My math skills are diminished by time, so somebody correct me if I’m wrong. But I figure Miller’s walks per 9 innings is about 50% higher this year.

      • dan1111 - Jul 19, 2014 at 4:10 PM

        You are correct

      • branmanflan - Jul 22, 2014 at 10:51 AM

        The article is correct in 3.5%, but should have clearly stated his Walk RATE increased by 3.5% and not just walks. Walk Rate is a metric of Walks divided by Total Batters Faced. (BB / TBF = BB%)

        Shelby’s BB% in 2013 was 7.9%. In 2014 now it is 11.5%, so the author actually shortchanged himself as the true BB% is a 3.6% increase.

  5. SocraticGadfly - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:01 AM

    I wonder if this is a possible longer-term move, with an eye toward starting Rosenthal next year?

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