Cruising into tonight, Shelby Miller looks to continue his hot April with a similar May. With a 3-2 record, Miller boasts a 2.05 ERA and over 30 strikeouts. Everything seems encouraging in every way, but it looked that way for Lance Lynn in early 2012 as well.
Mike Matheny and the Cardinals staff must treat this 22 year old like the inexperienced and untested pitcher that he is, and not pretend that he has been here before. After tonight Shelby will be nearing 40 innings, and that says something. His arm is prized like gold, but not made of it.
Lance Lynn was 24 last year, and sure he may have been 40 pounds more than Miller is now, but he wasn’t looked after in a conservative way. While Cards fans scoffed at Stephen Strasburg being shut down last year, and later thanked them for it, was that something that should have been considered going into this season for Shelby “Mustang” Miller?
However, Strasburg’s absence in the playoffs didn’t need to be endured by the Nationals. The solution for the Nationals should be an option that John Moezeliak and the coaches are considering, which is to give Miller some rest in the summer. Why not? Say the ROY canidate has some blisters or a strained pinky toe, whatever. Cardinals fans are used to being jerked around by the doctors and the front office. Just keep Miller off the mound for a few weeks to limit the long term damage that could limit his future.
With Seth Maness and Joe Kelly both able to start in the fifth spot for a couple of games, why not do everything possible to avoid what happened to Lynn last year. Young guys who throw gas need to be rested whether they are husky or lean.
The new Lance Light is surely having a great start to the 2013 season after a stellar April, but the learning curve will come back and haunt St. Louis again if the decision makers didn’t learn anything from last season. More rookie mistakes by a sophomore manager are not acceptable. His (MM’s) decision to test Mitchell Boggs again last night almost lost another game and may have screwed up the already defunct former set up man more than he already was.
Lynn will be carefully monitored because of his second half collapse last year, but it is more important to keep a close eye on Shelby Miller‘s rocket launcher. Make very sure that he has as many opportunities for success as possible. Everything that Miller has shown the baseball world so far is that he is more than just a flame thrower.