If either Shelby Miller or Trevor Rosenthal earns a spot in the starting rotation of the 2013 Cardinals, he’ll have a chance to achieve an honor unprecedented in franchise history.
Because veteran Chris Carpenter is likely to sit out the 2013 season because of nerve problems in his right shoulder, Miller and Rosenthal each enter spring training as a contender for a starting rotation spot.
Barring a trade or injuries, the Cardinals likely will open the regular season with a rotation of Adam Wainwright, Lance Lynn, Jaime Garcia, Jake Westbrook and either Miller, Rosenthal or Joe Kelly.
Though Miller and Rosenthal both pitched for the 2012 Cardinals, they maintain their rookie status in 2013. Kelly doesn’t.
To qualify for rookie status, a player must not have exceeded 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched in the majors, or accumulated more than 45 days on the active roster during the 25-player limit period.
Miller, 22, pitched 13.2 innings for the 2012 Cardinals in six games, including a memorable start on Oct. 3 when he limited the Reds to one hit and no runs in six innings of a 1-0 St. Louis victory. Boxscore
Rosenthal, 22, pitched 22.2 innings in 19 relief appearances for the 2012 Cardinals. He was 0-2 with a 2.78 ERA.
Like Miller and Rosenthal, Kelly made his major-league debut with the 2012 Cardinals, but because he pitched 107 innings he no longer has rookie status in 2013. Kelly was 5-7 with a 3.53 ERA in 24 games, including 16 starts, for St. Louis in 2012.
The Rookie of the Year Award first was given in 1947. Dodgers second baseman Jackie Robinson was the first recipient. Players who have received the honor as Cardinals are:
_ Wally Moon, outfielder, 1954.
_ Bill Virdon, outfielder, 1955.
_ Bake McBride, outfielder, 1974.
_ Vince Coleman, outfielder, 1985.
_ Todd Worrell, reliever, 1986.
_ Albert Pujols, infielder-outfielder, 2001.
A Cardinals starting pitcher has finished runner-up in the rookie of the year award balloting four times:
_ Harvey Haddix, 1953. The award went to Dodgers second baseman Jim Gilliam (125 runs, 100 walks, 21 steals). Haddix was 20-9 with a 3.06 ERA.
_ Dick Hughes, 1967. The award went to Mets starter Tom Seaver (16-13, 2.76 ERA). Hughes was 16-6 with a 2.67 ERA.
_ Matt Morris, 1997. The award went to Phillies third baseman Scott Rolen (21 homers, 92 RBI). Morris (12-9, 3.19 ERA) tied for second with Marlins starting pitcher Livan Hernandez (9-3, 3.18 ERA).
_ Rick Ankiel, 2000. The award went to Braves shortstop Rafael Furcal (.295 batting average, 40 steals). Ankiel was 11-7 with a 3.50 ERA.
The last National League starting pitcher to win rookie of the year honors was the Marlins’ Dontrelle Willis in 2003.
Shelby Miller has been a top-rated prospect since being selected by St. Louis in the first round of the 2009 amateur draft. In 2012, Miller struck out 160 in 136.2 innings for Class AAA Memphis.
Trevor Rosenthal, chosen by the Cardinals in the 21st round of the 2009 draft, was a starting pitcher at Class AA Springfield and at Memphis in 2012. In a combined 20 games started, Rosenthal yielded just 78 hits in 109 innings, holding opponents to a .203 batting average. He struck out 104.