Matheny proud of former Cards pitcher Miller

Matheny proud of former Cards pitcher Miller

NEW YORK -- The updates came as he was busy with his pregame preparation on Sunday, but Cardinals manager Mike Matheny took time to pause as each arrived. He wanted to follow the near no-hitter by former St. Louis pitcher Shelby Miller, who lost the no-no bid with two out in the ninth against the Marlins.

Miller, who was dealt to Atlanta as part of a four-player trade last November, is one of several former Cardinals that Matheny acknowledges keeping an eye on.

"You care about them, and it's hard to separate that and say, 'OK, you have a different jersey on, I no longer care about you,'" Matheny said. "Not when they're playing us, just because my job description supersedes everything else and we're supposed to win, but when I watch Shelby Miller, there's a sense of pride, and I'm happy that he's doing what we knew he could do."

Miller owns a Major League-best 1.33 ERA through eight starts and has thrown a pair of shutouts on fewer than 100 pitches. The Cardinals, though willing to part with the former first-round Draft pick to address a right-field need, saw Miller begin to turn a corner last August, when the right-hander started incorporating a two-seam and cut fastball more liberally.

In 15 starts since Aug. 23, 2014, Miller has a 1.66 ERA. He had a 5.11 ERA in the 15 starts preceding that.

"We've never been short on our belief what Shelby Miller can do," Matheny said. "He made some changes as a pitcher. I was impressed with how much he was willing to try and learn things. A lot of kids who have so much success get hard-headed. But he was quick to say, 'OK, what can I do?'"

Worth noting
• The Cardinals announced plans to join Red Cross and hold a blood drive on June 1-2 in various locations around the St. Louis metro area. Those who donate will receive a Cardinals shirt. For more information on the participating locations, visit redcrossblood.org and enter the sponsor code, "Cards."

• Lefty Tim Cooney was named the Pacific Coast League's Pitcher of the Week on Monday after posting a PCL-low 0.66 ERA over 13 2/3 innings from May 11-17. In his most recent start, Cooney allowed one hit over 7 2/3 shutout innings.

• Infielder Jacob Wilson connected for a two-run homer on Monday in his first game after being promoted to Triple-A Memphis. Ty Kelly also homered in the Redbirds' 5-1 win. Wilson, ranked as the organization's No. 13 prospect by MLB Pipeline, opened the season hitting .225/.326/.450 in 34 Double-A games.

• To open up a roster spot for Wilson, the Cardinals gave Scott Moore his unconditional release. Moore, who was hitting .175 through 34 Triple-A games, had signed a Minor League contract with the organization over the winter.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.