It’s an interesting question. Why didn’t Shelby Miller see time in last year’s playoffs. During his media session Sunday afternoon, that was the topic of discussion. That and the fact that Adam Wainwright called him the second strongest guy on the team.
“The biggest thing is trying to have a bigger offseason. Two years ago, I lost too much weight. This past month, I have gotten better with it. Putting on more muscle. Weight room wise I am a lot stronger than last year. It could allow me to throw more pitches.”
He did address the Holliday effect quickly.
“Just being around Holliday. He makes the weights scared of him. He lifts 100 pound dumbbells. Whoever wanted to go for 2nd on the team I would definitely work out with them.”
What were his feelings on October? “The media asks you. Family asked you. I don’t have a good answer for you. We had a good thing going with the rotation and the bullpen was throwing hard, so with these dominant guys, I didn’t have the opportunity to pitch.”
Was the absence linked to an injury? “Physically I felt amazing. I was throwing long toss. I felt as good as I had all season. You could look at the innings I guess, but I’m not sure. I felt like I could have kept going.”
Overall, over the next 4 times he is asked about the playoff absence, Miller is a cool customer but definitely a man who is still asking himself why he didn’t pitch. He won 15 games. He looked good down the stretch in September, especially in a final home start against Washington. Asking anyone for a real concrete answer is tough business.
“I was a little upset I didn’t pitch, but I just put it away and stopped thinking about it. I was ready for a big offseason. I wasn’t wanting to dwell on the past. I am okay with it being a mystery. A mystery unsolved. It was weird being put on the roster and not used. I only got up once in Boston so that was weird.”
His place with the team didn’t change, in his opinion. “The four guys we had were throwing very well. I think as far as I’ve lost my role or not, I don’t think so. Every camp is a battle.”
He isn’t bummed about the rookie of the year voting and isn’t working on a new pitch. He is going with what he had but may incorporate a sinker to get more quick outs. He is also glad that he didn’t get traded because he is right where he wants to be. He has kept in touch with Wainwright in the offseason and will work towards becoming a better starter in 2014. He won’t escape questions about the 2013 postseason until he gets back there and pitches.
Weird is the biggest word used by Miller. Weird translates to confusion and out of the ordinary. This much is known. Everybody has their theory but Miller is busy focusing on 2014.
“I want to be a part of winning a World Series. Obviously I wish I could have pitched more but the season I had last year will push me more in 2014. I want to win 20 games and just keep pitching.”
Come back later for bits from Carlos Martinez, Jon Jay, Matt Carpenter and Jason Motte in my coverage from The 2014 Winter Warmup.