A Look at Rookie Pitchers: Shelby Miller

We are looking, one by one, at the relevant rookie starting pitchers this season.┬áThat pack of rookies is led by Shelby Miller. After making 1 start in 2012, he’s made 13 starts and put up some serious numbers. He’s 7-4 this season and has a 2.21 ERA and a 0.971WHIP. He’s struck out 28.7% of the batters he’s faced and only walked 5.3%.

The highlight of his season, so far, is his complete game 1 hitter against Colorado on May 10. In that game he gave up a leadoff hit to Eric Young Jr. and after that, sent down 27 straight Rockies, striking out 13 on the way. Contrast that with Miller’s most recent start on Wednesday against the Mets where he gave up a career high 4 earned runs over 6 innings. He did strikeout 10 in the loss. Hard to feel bad about 4 earned runs being the most he’s ever given up.

For the year, Miller is averaging 6.1 innings and about 103 pitches per start. There has been some talk about whether or not the Cardinals are going to implement any sort of innings limit for Miller. He logged about 150 innings last year, and that was the most of his career. He’s a big kid with a mature body, but I would imagine that St. Louis is going to be fairly conservative with the workload of their young pitchers. They’ve had some injuries in their rotation which has forced them into calling up fellow rookie Michael Wacha. If I had to guess, Miller will make 15 more starts this season and end up logging somewhere between 175-185 innings.

If you’re in a head to head redraft league and you have Miller on your team, you may want to start thinking about when you want to deal him to bolster your team in some other area. If you’re in any sort of keeper or dynasty league Miller looks like a good bet to provide good value for your team for years to come. For roto players in a redraft league it isn’t quite the same concern, but if you can deal him for some other top 15 pitcher that will end up making more starts the remainder of the season, that would be a smart move.

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