Shelby Miller injury: Cardinals RHP leaves game with elbow contusion

Dilip Vishwanat

Miller took a line drive off his elbow just two pitches into his start on Wednesday.

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Shelby Miller left Wednesday night's game just two pitches into his start after a Carl Crawford line-drive hit his right elbow.

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Miller attempted to get out of the way of the drive, but was not quick enough as he was still finishing his pitching motion. The ball ricocheted into left field, allowing Crawford to reach safely. Miller immediately grimaced following the play as the Cardinals training staff came out to look him over.

The Cardinals removed Miller from the game immediately and brought in reliever Michael Blazek to finish the remainder of the first inning. Starting pitcher Jake Westbrook then came into the game the following inning.

Miller had x-rays following the incident. Results on those tests came back negative, and Miller's injury is being treated as a contusion.

While the Cardinals would have almost certainly removed Miller regardless, they are likely to be extra careful with their 22-year-old rookie sensation. Miller has a 2.89 ERA over 21 starts in 2013 and is one of the top candidates to win the National League's Rookie of the Year award.

Westbrook had been scheduled to start Thursday's game, but will obviously be unable to do so after allowing seven runs in four innings in relief of Miller. Lance Lynn is the scheduled pitcher for the Cardinals on Friday if the team chooses to move him up a day. Otherwise, if St. Louis looks to the minors, it's Carlos Martinez's turn in the rotation for Triple-A Memphis.

Martinez has a 1.87 ERA in the minors in 2013 after being named Baseball-America's #38 prospect prior to the season. He made 10 relief appearances for the Cardinals earlier in the season.

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