CLEVELAND -- After three successful outings with Triple-A Columbus on a Minor League rehab assignment, Indians relief ace Andrew Miller wasn't expecting a poor performance with Double-A Akron on Tuesday night.Unfortunately for Miller, that's exactly what happened. The left-hander was charged with four runs in one-third of an inning, allowing
CLEVELAND -- After three successful outings with Triple-A Columbus on a Minor League rehab assignment, Indians relief ace Andrew Miller wasn't expecting a poor performance with Double-A Akron on Tuesday night.
Unfortunately for Miller, that's exactly what happened. The left-hander was charged with four runs in one-third of an inning, allowing two hits and a walk without a strikeout. Miller, who's been sidelined since May 26 with right knee inflammation, says there's no doubt the appearance looked disastrous in the box score, but his knee felt healthy, and that's what matters.
"I feel healthy, which is good," Miller said on Wednesday at Progressive Field, where he was to meet with pitching coach Carl Willis. "It's as good as I've felt in a long time. Yeah, the results weren't good, but I think, honestly, I threw the ball pretty well at the start of it. I gave up two really weak infield singles. The wheels really fell off after that."
Miller admitted the ailment, which he's been battling for the better part of two months, has thrown his notoriously unorthodox delivery out of whack. So while in the Minors, he's been trying to correct any lingering mechanical issues.
"That's really my battle right now, just consistency with my mechanics," Miller said. "I wish it would have come sooner than later, but I'm working toward it."
In three previous appearances with Triple-A Columbus since last Tuesday, Miller allowed one run on two hits in three innings while striking out four without issuing a walk.
The most important thing for Indians manager Terry Francona is keeping Miller healthy. Francona said Miller will still pitch with Akron every other day this week with hopes to return to the club as early as next week. The reason Miller has bounced between affiliates was to keep him close to Cleveland.
"Thankfully, it wasn't in a game in a meaningful spot up here or something like that, I'm kind of fighting stuff," Miller said. "I don't think I'm that far off. It's just a matter of finding some consistency and making some small adjustments."
Provided Miller, who's been on the disabled list twice this year, can avoid further ailments, Francona said he's confident his pitcher's track record will speak for itself.
"I don't think he pitched very well, but the good news is he's healthy," Francona said. "I guess the best way to put it is a couple months from now when he's dealing for us, nobody's going to care that he gave up runs in Akron. That's part of why he's going through what he's going through."
Francona said reliever Nicholas Goody has progressed with his injury (right elbow inflammation) and has begun throwing long toss up to 105 feet. Goody has been out since May 4, and was transferred to the 60-day disabled list May 31. It's Goody's first progression noted by Francona, since he said the right-hander resumed a throwing program on July 10.
Francona also said right-hander Evan Marshall has also ramped up throwing. Marshall, who's been out since June 19 with ulnaritis, which affects the nerves, in his right elbow, has begun throwing bullpen sessions at the team's spring training facility in Goodyear, Ariz. The move is progress for Marshall, who had only been playing catch since July 6.
"I think it's great. I know Brad [Hand] a little bit. I didn't know Adam [Cimber] at all, but I think the organization does a good job of kind of vetting the guys before they bring them in. They can both be a big part of what we're trying to do. I'm looking forward to getting out there and joining them. But I think it's a pretty big trade for us and hopefully it pays pretty big dividends." -- Miller, on the additions of Hand and Cimber, who were acquired from the Padres last Thursday in a trade
Casey Harrison is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland. You can follow him on Twitter @Casey_Harrison1.