And then there was one.
First it was Lance Lynn who bowed out of the race for the fifth starter spot and now Joe Kelly will do the same. After Monday’s win over the Minnesota Twins the team made a decision on the fifth spot on the rotation. The club has went back and forth with their opinions on the matter and finally made that decision today.
Shelby Miller has won the job.
That was the news out of Fort Myers today, first reported by the St. Louis Post Dispatch’s Rick Hummel. It’s seemed like for the past week the Cardinals were leaning towards Shelby Miller and now that decision is final. Manager Mike Matheny informed Miller of the news.
“I’m speechless,” Miller said in regards to the choice*. “It’s unbelievable news.”
Matheny also had the job of informing Joe Kelly that he did not win the job. The news isn’t all bad for Joe though, he won’t be getting cut, or sent down, instead he’ll be in the Cardinals’ bullpen. A place that became very familiar with Kelly in the 2012 season.
“We told him he should be very proud of himself the way (he and Miller) competed,” said Matheny*. “It wasn’t anything that he did or did not do. It’s what makes our team better. Right now, I think our team is better with Shelby in that fifth starting spot.”
Miller struggled early in the season at AAA Memphis. This was, partly, the reason Joe Kelly got the call up when Jaime Garcia went down. Miller eventually turned it around and ended his AAA season at a respectful 11-10, with a 4.74 ERA. His resurgence as an elite pitcher at Memphis would later earn him a call up to St. Louis where he posted an impressive 1.32 ERA.
He was also given a chance to start a game late in the year and he performed magnificently. In that game against the Reds he gave up no runs and carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning.
He will likely get his first start of 2013 in the Cardinals’ second series of the year against the defending World Champion Giants.
*Quotes from Rick Hummel’s article on stltoday.com You can read that article here: