JUPITER, Fla. — After spending most of his time in spring training groping for a feel on his pitches, St. Louis Cardinals lefty Andrew Miller is going through a battery of exams and discussions to help determine a root cause of why those troubles persist.
Miller met with Cardinals’ medical personnel Tuesday morning and said he will have some additional exams conducted to triangulate why he doesn’t have the sensation he feels he needs to pitch effectively and comfortably. He apologized multiple times during an interview Tuesday for not have specifics or being able to detail exactly what he feels when he pitches, and added that he’s having the same discussions with the doctors.
His lack of answers is why they’re looking for them.
“Trying to figure out why I’ve been battling some of the things I’ve been battling,” the veteran said. “It just doesn’t feel right, and we’re trying to find an answer as to why, and you get an answer you get a solution.”
He called being unable to articulate precisely what he feels and why "frustrating."
Miller started warming up to appear in Monday’s game, then abruptly stopped after at least one wild pitch. The former All-Star and closer has battled command issues before, but losing it while warming up in the bullpen was a concern. He had similar feelings as he warmed up and pitched against the New York Mets in a game this past weekend.
The Cardinals are considering him day to day, though there is obvious alarm that Miller could be dealing with an issue that could slow his spring or sideline him for the start of the regular season. The team and Miller are looking at what nerve issues could be causing his lack of feel, and Miller outlined that the tests he had could rule out some issues. He said he’s not showing signs of carpal tunnel (what put Brett Cecil on the injured list) and that he hasn’t had the symptoms that lead to thoracic outlet surgery (Chris Carpenter and Jaime Garcia had that).
Miller did not have an MRI on Tuesday as part of the tests, he said. Part of the testing he’s going through is to determine if he has any circulation concerns, if there is a similar issue in his other extremities that has revealed itself because they aren’t used to throw a baseball.
“We’re putting our heads together to get a good answer,” he said.
In addition to the medical exams that have happened and will yet happen, Miller has had his bullpen sessions dissected by the Cardinals’ added technology. The Cardinals have used Edgertronic cameras and the Rapsodo equipment to compare his spin rates and release points and whatever else they can to previous data. The goal was to see if some of those results might reveal a clue to the cause of his issues. Miller said he’s battled mechanics before, and it’s possible that adjusting them again could unlock his troubles.
He said there’s no tingling, no burning, no hurting or aching in his arm or his hand that would give away the injury. The doctors have asked. Often.
“I’ve probably been dealing with it for a while,” Miller said. “There was no moment of pop or pull or that hurt or that felt weird kind of thing and then, OK, this is clear-cut. This has probably been a pretty gradual thing. … I don’t have that answer right now.”
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