Feb 23, 2011; Jupiter, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Shelby Miller (71) delivers a pitch during spring training workouts at Roger Dean Stadium. Miller was the Cardinals 1st round pick in the 2009 draft. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-US PRESSWIRE

Rants Daily: Shelby Miller makes Grapefruit League debut for Cardinals

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The St. Louis Cardinals have six players in the Baseball America top 100 prospects list for 2012. None of them ranked higher than Shelby Miller. Miller, 21, has rapidly climbed the organizational ladder and expects to be a part of the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds to start the regular season. But, yesterday in Viera, Fl. Miller was on the mound to start for the St. Louis Cardinals in a Grapefruit League game against the Washington Nationals. The game was halted after nine innings and goes down in the books as a 3-3 tie.

Feb 23, 2011; Jupiter, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Shelby Miller (71) delivers a pitch during spring training workouts at Roger Dean Stadium. Miller was the Cardinals 1st round pick in the 2009 draft. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-US PRESSWIRE

Miller flashed signs of why he has a chance to be a big part of the major league club for years to come. In two innings he allowed one run on two hits and a walk. Miller struck out one batter. His first inning was a little rough as he had a hard time with his secondary pitches. He settled down in the second, utilizing his curveball as a compliment to his fastball.

The Cardinals couldn’t scratch a run across against Nationals’ starter Jordan Zimmermann. In three innings Zimmermann scattered three hits around one walk and struck out three.

In the top of the fifth inning, Daniel Descalso homered to tie the game at 1. Descalso was playing third base yesterday, but is in the competition for the second base job. He certainly aided his cause yesterday adding another hit and run scored, finishing 2-for-4. His competitor, Tyler Greene was 1-for-3 with two walks and a stolen base. First baseman Matt Adams had two more hits and his spring average sits at .444.

On the mound the Cardinals were flawless after Miller’s outing. As a group, the batch of relievers, including Jason Motte and Marc Rzepczynski held the Nats scoreless on one single and two walks from the third through the eighth inning.

After the Cardinals took the lead in the top of the ninth, Lance Lynn came out for his second inning of work and was let down by the defense. The first batter up, Tyler Moore, popped the ball up between the catcher Koyie Hill and Adams in foul territory. The ball dropped and Moore capitalized on the extra chance by singling up the middle. Up came Carlos Maldonado and he blasted a home run to tie the game. Lynn finished out the inning and the game was called due to impending bad weather.

TODAY’S GAME – ALMOST ALL HANDS ON DECK

Manager Mike Matheny has a veteran presence in today’s game at Roger Dean Stadium against the Boston Red Sox. After taking the kids up north, the Cards will have Lance Berkman and Rafael Furcal in the lineup for the first time this spring. Matheny has been taking it slow with some of the veterans as is the case in the beginning of spring with most teams. The Cardinals send Jaime Garcia to the hill to face off against Red Sox starter Josh Beckett. Here is the starting lineup provided by Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

  1. Rafael Furcal, SS
  2. Jon Jay, CF
  3. Matt Holliday, LF
  4. Lance Berkman, 1B
  5. David Freese,3B
  6. Matt Adams, DH
  7. Yadier Molina, C
  8. Skip Schumaker, RF
  9. Tyler Greene, 2B

Carlos Beltran is out of the lineup due to the flu according to a tweet from MLB.com reporter Jenifer Langosch. He will be staying away from the complex today. Greene and Skip Schumaker continue to get at-bats as part of the second base battle. After Garcia on the mound, expect to see Fernando Salas who made the trip north but was not used. Also, Mitchell Boggs, J.C. Romero and Eduardo Sanchez could throw today.

NOTEWORTHY
  • Reliever Adam Ottavino struck out four batters in one inning yesterday as a pitch swung on and missed by Xavier Paul got away from the catcher.
  • Adron Chambers took advice from Willie McGee and changed his uniform to a tighter version to assist his with speed.
  • Descalso and Miller had a scary moment when Miller backed into Descalso while trying to move from the mound on a pop-up. Neither player was hurt.
  • Jim Edmonds is in camp, but is not sure what his role is as of yet.

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Tags: Adam Ottavino Adron Chambers Cardinals Carlos Beltran Daniel Descalso David Freese Eduardo Sanchez Fernando Salas Grapefruit League J.C. Romero Jaime Garcia Jason Motte Jim Edmonds Jon Jay Jordan Zimmermann Josh Beckett Koyie Hill Lance Berkman Lance Lynn Marc Rzepczynski Matt Adams Matt Holliday Mike Matheny Mitchell Boggs Rafael Furcal Shelby Miller Skip Schumaker Spring Training St Louis Cardinals Tyler Greene Willie McGee Yadier Molina

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