(KSDK Sports) - A bad attitude can go a long way in ruining a professional baseball career. A player identified as un-coachable or just plain difficult to work with is usually a player that will someday require, a "change of scenery" trade.
Some might say that is what happened to former Cardinals phenom Colby Rasmus.
Last year baseball writer Keith Law reported that it seemed Shelby Miller was "bored" with AAA, and there were plenty of other reports discussing Miller's coachablility and attitude. At the time Miller and the Cardinals dismissed the notion. And when Miller finally did arrive and made his Major League debut in a relief appearance on September 5th, he was once again being treated as a "the next big thing."
Questions of Miller being a "problem" were replaced by "when will we see Miller start?"
The questions may be gone, but Miller hasn't forgotten the reputation that almost was, and in a recent interview with Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, he admitted that he hasn't always been receptive to instruction and criticism, and said that attitude was a thing of the past.
"I've seen a huge improvement even at the end of last year, " said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny when asked about Miller's revamped attitude. "At the tail end when he came up, he was a different guy and it was all probably just a maturity process. He and I had talked about that. I believe we all learn through mistakes."
Miller is locked in a three way contest with best friend Joe Kelly and fellow fire-baller Trevor Rosenthal for not just a spot on the roster, but a spot in the rotation. So it's no surprise that we're seeing a more mature Shelby Miller.
"Shelby is right now doing everything the right way. He's taking a huge step forward," said Matheny.