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Shelby Miller to start today vs. Washington

A special treat for Cardinals fans today, no matter how brief it may be: The organization's top prospect, Shelby Miller, will toe the rubber in the team's spring training tilt against the Washington Nationals.

Miller, 21, was 11-6 with a 2.77 ERA last year between High Class A Palm Beach and Class AA Springfield. He's probably a certainty for the Class AAA rotation in Memphis. But fans are eagerly anticipating his elevation to the majors sometime late in the 2012 season or in 2013 as a replacement for pending free agents Kyle Lohse and Jake Westbrook.

It's a split squad day. So while Miller and some of the kids will make the trip to Viera, the veterans will host the Red Sox at Roger Dean Stadium.

According to the Cardinals, first baseman Lance Berkman is expected to make his Grapefruit League debut Thursday. It's not quite the disappointment Cardinals fans suffered when Danny Cox jumped off a sea wall and broke his ankle. But it is another befuddling Florida-based injury. Berkman has sore muscles thanks to sea sickness suffered on a boat ride. Translation: It's the first vomit-induced disability of the spring.

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