Spring Training News and Notes: Holliday, Ryan, and Miller


-Matt Holliday missed the first workouts today because he was feeling sick due to allergies or the flu. He will likely be back on the field for preseason workouts again soon. Holliday enters the first season of his seven-year deal worth $120 million. The organization and fans are excited to have him for entire year after sparking the team to an easy division title in 2009. He provided a new level of depth to the lineup and protection for Albert Pujols. The Cards thrived and so did Holliday, batting .353 and driving in 55 runs in 63 games. He is as excited as anyone to get back on the field and begin his first full season in St. Louis.

-Starting shortstop Brendan Ryan said the pain that has bothered him for much of his career is finally gone. He had arthroscopic surgery in the offseason and will miss the start of Spring Training. Ryan just wants to get back on the field with his teammates to continue to improve. He was great defensively and provided an efficient bat in 2009 to earn the starting spot. Ryan knows that this provides an opportunity for others and doesn’t want to lose his job. He understands how easy it is to be replaced. During the offseason he rededicated himself and worked with Mark McGwire to become more of a threat at the plate.

Shelby Miller made a splash upon his arrival today. The 19-year-old pitcher is the top prospect talent-wise for the Cards and has many excited for the future. He has a good fastball that hits the 92-94 MPH range. It will only improve as he matures in the weight room and on the mound mechanically. He also throws a curveball and change, and has room to add another pitch and sharpen the others. The 6-3 youngster has the build that an ace needs, and many project him as the leader of future Cards clubs when the stars of today are on their way out. He has control issues like most young pitchers coming out of high school, where they overpowered opponents rather than focusing on control. It will be a while until Miller is in St. Louis, but it’s never too early to begin laying the foundation for the future.

The focus now is on the 2010, a season that the Cards could return to the World Series.