Cards being cautious with Miller's tight back

Cards being cautious with Miller's tight back

LOS ANGELES -- Though Shelby Miller thought he was ready to prove himself healthy by throwing off the mound on Thursday, the Cardinals reined him in and limited Miller to a session of flat-ground throwing. Whether he makes his next scheduled start on Sunday will be determined by how his back continues to respond to treatment and each subsequent push.

Miller said there is "no question" he'll start as scheduled but then backed off that assertion somewhat by admitting that he continues to deal with back tightness. He explained that the discomfort has moved to his lower back after being concentrated in his upper-to-middle back during Tuesday's start. He exited that outing in the third inning.

"I don't know what the reason is behind it," Miller added. "We're doing things in the training room to get it loosened up, doing heat packs and stuff like that. Every day it's gotten better."

Miller said he was unsure whether he'd throw off the mound on Friday or if a bullpen session was even necessary before starting on Sunday. Should the Cardinals choose to keep him off the mound, Miller will continue with the flat-ground throwing.

If Miller is unable to make the start, the Cardinals would have to summon another spot starter from the Minors. Lefties Tyler Lyons and Tim Cooney would appear to be the likeliest candidates should that callup be needed.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. Teddy Cahill is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.