The St. Louis Cardinals announced on Wednesday night that Shelby Miller is done as a member of the bullpen.
The purpose of sending Miller to the bullpen in the first place was to allow him some rest after the All-Star break, and according to manager Mike Matheny, via Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, the trip to the pen accomplished it’s purpose for the right-handed pitcher.
“I think we accomplished what the goal was from the beginning of ‘let’s get him some rest,’” manager Mike Matheny said. “He’s had a nice little period here to get himself right and strong and feeling good. Now we have to get him out on the mound and watch him get the consistency.”
Miller heading back into the starting rotation doesn’t mean the Cardinals will be back to a five-man starting unit, though. Miller will be back in the starter’s role this Saturday against the Chicago Cubs, but the Cards have also decided to move rookie Carlos Martinez to the pen now.
According to Matheny, via Langosch, Martinez will be working on pitching consistently from one inning to the next: A trait that is obviously important if he is to eventually rejoin the starting rotation:
“He hit it right on the mark — consistency with his stuff and consistency in the strike zone and continue to get better with his offspeed stuff,” Matheny said of Martinez’s spoken checklist of areas for improvement. “It’s frustrating, I’m sure, for a kid who has that kind of stuff not to be able to replicate it from inning to inning. It just comes down to execution. He’s going to get there.”
Miller returns to the starting lineup after just one inning of relief work during his stint in the pen. He has a 7-8 record and a 4.25 ERA.
Martinez has a 2-4 record and a 4.57 ERA. He hasn’t even gotten into the fifth inning in his past two starts, so the switch to the bullpen could end up being a welcome change for the rookie right-hander