Shelby Miller pulled from start due to back tightness

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The Cardinals lost both Jaime Garcia and Michael Wacha to shoulder injuries on Sunday. Now they may be down a third starting pitcher in two days.

Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that right-hander Shelby Miller was lifted from his start Tuesday night at Coors Field because of tightness in his back. Miller complained of a hip stinger after a rough start last Thursday against the Phillies and he looked stiff on the mound throughout his 2 2/3 innings on Tuesday versus the Rockies.

Miller surrendered three earned runs on six hits and five walks Tuesday before exiting and the 23-year-old now has a 3.75 ERA and 1.40 WHIP in 93 2/3 total innings this season. St. Louis is calling up 2013 first-round pick Marco Gonzales for his major league debut Wednesday and now there’s a little more pressure on the kid to perform. Joe Kelly is still at least a week away from returning from a severe left hamstring strain.

Hideki Matsui thinks Shohei Otani should pitch and hit in MLB

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Yankees’ special advisor and former outfielder Hideki Matsui expects to help the club “convince or recruit” Japanese two-way star Shohei Otani, according to a report from MLB.com’s Deesha Thosar. The Yankees are currently viewed as the favorites to sign Otani, though there still figures to be plenty of competition for his services when he finally becomes eligible to enter Major League Baseball.

Matsui also told Thosar that while he hasn’t seen a player find success as a hybrid pitcher/slugger in the majors, he’s taken notice of Otani’s success in both areas. “He’s done well in Japan, so as a baseball fan I’m looking forward to how he’s going to do here in the Majors and in the U.S.,” Matsui said, later adding, “If [pitching and hitting is] something he wants to do, and the team wants it, then why not?”

Neither the Yankees nor any other suitor should be too concerned with Otani’s ability to translate his .332 batting average and 3.20 ERA to MLB — at least, not just yet. There are still a few roadblocks in his path to the major leagues, most notably the lack of approval from the Players Association. Per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, the union doesn’t want to sign off on an agreement that would give the Nippon Ham Fighters a $20 million posting fee in exchange for Otani’s services. According to the posting system rules, Otani himself would be eligible to receive no more than a $4 million signing bonus.

The good news in all of this? The union agreed to reach a final decision by Monday, November 21, so there’s still a chance Major League Baseball will see the talented two-way player bring his unique skillset to the field in 2018.