CLEVELAND (92.3 the Fan) – Reports of Andrew Miller’s demise may have been greatly exaggerated.
The key cog in the Indians’ vaunted bullpen is nearing his return after a 10-day disabled list trip for right patella tendonitis. Miller cannot return until Sunday, but Manager Terry Francona says the return is imminent.
“He may not be able to come off the day that he’s eligible, but by all accounts he’s really doing well and I don’t think it will be too long after that,” the skipper said.
Francona added that if the lefty needs another day or two on the shelf, they will give it to him, but that Miller is already able to throw again.
Miller’s availability “five minutes after he is activated” is largely in part to his diligence to get back on the field as soon as possible.
“I think the point I was trying to make was when you go on the DL, you can be much more aggressive treating (it) because he’s not going to pitch that night,” Francona said. “There’s no miracle cure or anything, but he’s been in there early every day. When I get here, he’s already getting treatment.”
The all-star southpaw is still among the best relievers in all of baseball with a 1.67 ERA and 2.09 FIP, but there was an obvious drop-off in the last month as he has been dealing with tendonitis.
Miller has already walked 15 batters and hit 5, both more than he did in 2016. Of the 15 walks, 10 have come since June 14th, as have 2-of-5 hit batsmen.
Not Too Lon’
Right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall is also near a return, according to Francona, though the return is to game situations and rehab games as opposed to being with the big league club.
The manager said that Chisenhall is within days of having a rehab schedule.
“That doesn’t mean he’s going to go out in a day or two, but I think we’re getting closer,” Francona said. “His last couple of days, he’s kind of turning a corner. So I think pretty soon we’ll be able to tell you when he’s going out and where, and things like that.”
Go With the Flow
Mike Clevinger is set to make a return of his own, as he will reprise his role in the rotation and start the team’s Saturday matchup in Tampa Bay.
Clevinger has not started since July 31st, when he lasted just three innings and allowed five earned at Fenway Park.
In his career, the Jacksonville, FL native has faced one Tampa Bay Ray, striking out Evan Longoria in a relief appearance on May 16th in Cleveland.