Shelby Miller Adds To St. Louis Cardinals' Pitching Issues

By Thom Tsang
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Jaime Garcia was coming off an rehabbing an ailing shoulder that bothered him for much of 2012, but he’s proclaimed himself healthy this spring, the the St. Louis Cardinals aren’t worried about it.

The news of Chris Carptenter being shut down for the year, if not for good, wasn’t the news the team wanted to hear, but the Cardinals had its internal options, and weren’t overly worried about that, either.

Well, St. Louis has done a pretty good job of staying away from the panic button over the question marks on their pitching staff this season, but that might change in the coming days:

Okay, so it’s not as bad as it sounds. The soreness is something that Shelby Miller said that he’s felt last year, and that “it’s nothing serious.”

The Cardinals seem to be in agreement here, as they did not schedule a MRI for their young righty, and manager Mike Matheny said that the shut down was more a “preventative” thing than the shoulder being a serious concern.

That said, there’s no current estimated time for Miller to return, so there may be some nervousness to be anticipated in the coming days yet, as the team works with Miller to get his shoulder back on track. For what it’s worth, the 22-year old top pitching prospect did say that he “probably would have just kept going” through the tightness if it was in a more competitive situation.

It’s not to say he won’t be competing in Spring Training, though. Miller may have the inside track when it comes to the Cardinals’ fifth rotation spot, but he will also have to ward off fireballer Trevor Rosenthal, as well as groundballer Joe Kelly for the job.

So, should Miller’s shoulder get unexpectedly worse, the Cardinals will still have enough depth to have a couple of guys fight over his job, and that likely means that – guess what – they aren’t too worried about Miller this spring.

Injuries are a slippery slope, though, and the team might only be one Garcia setback away from going from not worrying about it all, to finding themselves in a situation where they’re picking up the phone to call Kyle Lohse.

That, perhaps, might get the Cardinals to start worrying, if only a little bit.

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