Cardinals top prospect Shelby Miller now pitching at Double-A

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The Cardinals selected Texas high school pitcher Shelby Miller with the 19th overall pick in the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft, confident that his sharp high-90s fastball could one day make him a major league ace.

That day may be coming soon.

Miller was promoted to Double-A Springfield last week after opening the 2011 season with a 2.89 ERA and a dominant 81/20 K/BB ratio over 53 innings at High-A Palm Beach. He struck out 140 batters in 104 1/3 innings last season with Low-A Quad Cities, issuing only 33 walks along the way.

This winter, Baseball America rated Miller as the 13th-best prospect in baseball. ESPN’s Keith Law had him as baseball’s No. 4 prospect last week.

The 20-year-old right-hander made his debut for the Springfield Cardinals on Friday in front of friends and family in Corpus Christi, Texas. He allowed just one earned run over six strong innings, fanning five batters against two walks and scattering seven hits to earn his first career victory above the Single-A level.

Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch ran a quick profile of Miller late Saturday night. The Cardinals, who preach a pitch-to-contact approach with most of their starters, have been slowly molding his off-speed stuff to be as effective as his signature heater. Instead of throwing a looping curveball like he did in high school, Miller now has a “power curve” that is tighter and pairs better with his fastball.

Miller could jump to Triple-A Memphis by the start of next season and could arrive in the majors by mid-2012.

Dodgers add Scott Alexander to World Series roster, drop Caleb Ferguson

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Just as the Red Sox did, the Dodgers swapped out a pitcher for the World Series, replacing lefty Caleb Ferguson with lefty Scott Alexander.

Ferguson, a rookie, had made six appearances in the postseason, facing only one batter on three occasions and no more than three batters in any outing. He hasn’t allowed any hits or runs in three aggregate innings of work and has walked only one. The Dodgers might be concerned about his workload, however, as his velocity dipped as the NLCS wore on.

In Alexander, the Dodgers get a lefty with a bit more durability. Alexander pitched in 73 games in 2018. He made the NLDS roster, appearing in one game against the Braves, pitching a perfect inning in Game 3.

Here’s the entire World Series roster for Los Angeles: