The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Thursday that Shelby Miller, Brownwood native and Major League rookie pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals, will be getting more rest in the rotation.
Millerís last start fell on July 10 against the Houston Astros, and he is next expected to the toe the rubber on July 23 at home against the Philadelphia Phillies ó a rest of 13 days.
Miller has never pitched more than 150 innings in a season during his professional career, so the Cardinals are attempting to keep the former Lions† fresh for a likely postseason charge.
Miller has pitched 104 innings this season already.
In his first 12 starts, Miller had a 1.91 ERA, allowed an average of 0.98 runners per inning, had a strikeout/walk ratio of 4.76 and a ground-ball rate of †51 percent.
In his last six starts, Millerís ERA has swelled to 5.52 and heís allowed 1.47 runners per inning, has a strikeout to walk ratio of 2.58 and his ground-ball rate is 37.1 percent.
Miller finished the first half of the season with a 9-6 record and a 2.92 ERA. He came out of the gate quickly this season but has struggled in three of his last four starts. Walks have never been the issue, though. At the All-Star break, Miller was tied for 13th in the National League for the fewest walks (29) for pitchers who have thrown at least 100 innings.
During the long layoff, Miller said† in an interview with the Post-Dispatch that he wants to focus on one thing in particular for his next start.
ďThrow strikes. Thatís all Iíve got to work on,Ē Miller said. ďMy stuff is fine. Iíve just got to get it around the zone, and get it on the corners. Just fill up the zone. Thatís what all the guys preach here. You see it with all of the starters, they go out there, and they get ahead in the counts, and pitch deep into games.
ďThatís something Iíve been struggling with. Thatís why we have guys here; theyíre going to help me this whole year. I know there is a lot of room to improve.Ē