BOSTON (AP) — The Cleveland Indians’ pitching staff has taken two big hits: All-Star reliever Andrew Miller is on the disabled list, and starter Josh Tomlin is out six weeks.
Miller was put on the DL on Wednesday with right knee tendinitis, an injury that could explain his recent wildness.
“We talked last night after the game. His knee’s been bothering him for a while,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said before the AL Central leaders took on the Red Sox at Fenway Park. “The hope was you can manage it, and he was certainly more than willing.
“But, you know, not just he’s yanking pitches, but then I watched him come down the steps and I was like, ‘man.’ So we grabbed him after the game and talked for a while and then we said let’s sleep on it. I kind of knew where this was going, and I think he did, too,” he said.
The Indians will have to wait another day to use their revamped bullpen after Wednesday night’s game in Boston was postponed because of rain.
The makeup has been scheduled for Monday, Aug. 14 at 6:10 p.m. That will give Cleveland an 11-game road trip coming after a series against Tampa Bay and before they play at Minnesota.
One of baseball’s best relievers, Miller pitched in Tuesday night’s 12-10 loss at Boston, giving up Eduardo Nunez’s three-run double off the Green Monster.
Miller is 4-3 with two saves and a 1.67 ERA in 46 appearances this season. He was acquired at the trading deadline last year from the New York Yankees, and the left-hander was instrumental in Cleveland making it to the World Series for the first time since 1997.
Miller hasn’t been himself lately, walking 10 batters in the past 21 innings. The left-hander walked only nine in 74 1/3 innings last season.
The Indians recalled right-hander Adam Plutko from Triple-A Columbus to take Miller’s roster spot.
As for Tomlin, his season could be in jeopardy after an MRI confirmed a “mild-to-moderate” left hamstring tendon strain. The Indians said Tomlin is expected to miss at least six weeks before he can return to major league games.
“I think it was mild, but it’s the tendon. I think that it just takes a while to heal,” Francona said.
Tomlin was pulled before the fifth inning Sunday against the Chicago White Sox. He is 7-9 with a 5.38 ERA in 20 starts.
Instead of adding a front-line starter at the deadline, the Indians’ front office addressed the team’s bullpen depth on Monday by dealing for sidearmer Joe Smith, who can ease the burden on Miller, Bryan Shaw and closer Cody Allen.
But with Tomlin now out, the Indians have bigger problems. One option could be left-hander Ryan Merritt, who was with the club earlier this season.
Cleveland is slated to open a four-game series at home against the Yankees on Thursday night. Newly acquired right-hander Sonny Gray (6-5, 3.43 ERA) is set to start for New York. RHP Corey Kluber (8-3, 2.90) starts for the Indians.
(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)