ST. LOUIS -- Aaron Miles keeps hitting, and decision day keeps getting closer. That means there will actually be a decision for the Cardinals.
Miles entered Friday with a 10-for-27 mark in seven games at Double-A Springfield, with three doubles, five walks and five strikeouts. That follows a stint at extended spring training where he also fared well. Miles has an opt-out opportunity in his contract if he's not added to the Major League roster within 30 days of his signing, so he can leave the organization on Wednesday if he so desires.
If Miles had struggled at Springfield, it would be an easier decision. And with no real openings on the big league roster, it may still be an easy decision for the club. But his success means that the Cards will at least consider trying to find a spot for him in St. Louis.
"Whose spot does he take?" manager Tony La Russa asked. "Who do you want to dump? The whole point is there isn't a dead spot here, some guy who's just hanging on. There's nobody like him on the team, so he's got to show his ability. Then you look at his ability to see if what he can do is better than the guy he would replace. The fact that he's playing well has given us a decision. There's no dead weight on our roster, so it's a tough call."
If the Cardinals add Miles, they would likely send out an outfielder. But Nick Stavinoha has hit very well, Joe Mather is the backup center fielder and Jon Jay is the only left-handed hitter on the bench.