BFFs Duel It Out For Fifth Spot

Shelby Miller (center) and Edward Mujica smile and listen on as Joe Kelly tells jokes. (Courtesy of Post-Dispatch)

Cardinals fans have witnessed many a best friendship form between players on their favorite baseball team.

Whether it was Red and Stan,  or That Guy Who Used To Play First and Yadi, or the foursome of David Freese, Daniel Descalso, Jon Jay and Allen Craig, we’ve seen some great ones.

Never have any of them duked it out on the field though. And that’s what we may be seeing from one group of best buds! Soon.

Joe Kelly and Shelby Miller. Best Friends. Fighting it out for the coveted fifth position on the Cardinals starting rotation. The loser either heads to the bullpen or back to Triple-A Memphis.

Per the Post-Dispatch:

Joe Kelly and Shelby Miller are roommates and best friends, and come November they will serve as best man at each other’s wedding just seven days a part.

Kelly allowed three hits and one run in four solid innings and Miller allowed three runs in 2 2-3 innings Thursday in St. Louis’ 5-4 win over the Atlanta Braves.

With the Cardinals wanting the three remaining spring training starts to go to the No. 5 starter, Thursday was likely the final opportunity for the candidates to show why they deserve the spot.

“Oh definitely, if he gets the fifth spot I’m not going to talk to him anymore,” Miller said. “I’m kidding. It’s not going to change anything. I’ll be happy for him, but I’m sure if I got it he’ll be just as happy for me.”

Kelly has allowed just five hits and two earned runs in eight innings over three starts.

The former third-round draft pick by the Cardinals in 2009 got two double plays in his four innings and the only damage came on a two-out single from Braves leadoff man Jordan Schafer in the third that scored Jordan Parraz.

Miller allowed six hits and three runs but two of them scored after he departed the game.

“Joe came out and I thought that was probably the best he’s been this spring,” said manager Mike Matheny. “Shelby threw the ball pretty well, as well. It was a good day.

“Today wasn’t a drop dead, have to make a decision day, but we just took in more information and gave them another opportunity to go out there and I thought they both did the most with it,” Matheny added.

With just weeks remaining until opening day, Matheny is taking his sweet time making this decision while many of the Internet-based managers and general managers have already made the decision for him.

And there is not one consensus choice. Not one!

Hence, Matheny’s problem.

I say it’s a good problem to have, actually. Joe Kelly and Shelby Miller will both be power arms in the Cards rotation for years to come. Couple that with Trevor Rosenthal, Michael Wacha and others. It’s fun to think about, really. Remember when you were willing to sell off the farm to get a good arm… just a few years ago?

We will get plenty of time to see Kelly and Miller this season. Rosenthal too. So, let’s all just take a step back, let the process unfold and be thankful for what this team has developed.

Pitching. Finally!

Feel free to comment below about which of these BFFs will be on the opening day rotation, the bullpen or Memphis! You can also follow me on Twitter, @missmiranda, and talk with me about it there too! 

2 thoughts on “BFFs Duel It Out For Fifth Spot

  1. I am sticking with my original choice for fifth starter: Shelby. I think Joe can be valuable out of the bullpen, or used in long relief when necessary (like if anymore 18 inning games come up like they did last year!)

    Also, has there ever been a picture of Joe Kelly where he’s not having fun?

  2. I am sticking with my original choice for fifth starter: Shelby. I think Joe can be valuable out of the bullpen, or used in long relief when necessary (like if anymore 18 inning games come up like they did last year!)

    Also, has there ever been a picture of Joe Kelly where he’s not having fun?

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