Prospect Miller unlikely to contribute this year

Prospect Miller unlikely to contribute this year

ST. LOUIS -- Adjusted mechanics and an altered mindset have helped Shelby Miller, the organization's top pitching prospect, turn his season around in Triple-A. But is it enough to warrant a stay in St. Louis late this season?

As the Cardinals consider which players they want to add to the roster in September -- a month in which clubs are free to carry as many players from their 40-man rosters as they would like -- Miller's name is an intriguing one. Projected as an eventual top-of-the-rotation starter, Miller wouldn't break into the Cards' rotation this year. That doesn't mean, though, that he couldn't be added to the 'pen.

But general manager John Mozeliak downplayed that likelihood, describing it as "not likely" that a player not currently on the team's 40-man roster would be added for the purpose of bringing him up for a stretch run.

Asked specifically about Miller's chances, Mozeliak added: "I hate to get into specifics about potentially what we may or may not do on an individual, but I would recognize that he's pitched extremely well, had another very strong outing [on Tuesday] and that's great to see. How that plays into our decisions for September call-ups, it will factor into it, but ultimately we have to make sure if we're willing to start the [Major League service time] clock on somebody, are we going to use them or not? That's always the question you have to ask yourself when you make that decision."

Miller struck out 12 in a seven-inning start on Tuesday, giving the former first-round Draft pick 50 strikeouts in his last seven starts (42 2/3 innings). In that same span, Miller has walked just one. But his season ERA sits at 5.04, a reflection of the challenges Miller has had at the Triple-A level this year.