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Andrew Miller to the DL with strained hamstring

Indians confident southpaw will be ready to return when eligible
MLB.com @MLBastian

CLEVELAND -- Andrew Miller did not want to go on the disabled list and the Indians did not want to make that move with their relief ace, either. Putting the left-hander on the shelf still wound up being the consensus decision on Thursday after the sides discussed the situation in detail.

Prior to Thursday's game against the Mariners, Miller was moved to the 10-day DL with a left hamstring strain that is "more frustrating than concerning" in the words of the pitcher. Miller is hoping to be back on a mound soon and expressed optimism about his chances of being activated when eligible.

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CLEVELAND -- Andrew Miller did not want to go on the disabled list and the Indians did not want to make that move with their relief ace, either. Putting the left-hander on the shelf still wound up being the consensus decision on Thursday after the sides discussed the situation in detail.

Prior to Thursday's game against the Mariners, Miller was moved to the 10-day DL with a left hamstring strain that is "more frustrating than concerning" in the words of the pitcher. Miller is hoping to be back on a mound soon and expressed optimism about his chances of being activated when eligible.

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"With the DL being 10 days now, it just makes sense," Miller said. "You don't want to hang 24 guys out to dry for, call it, seven or eight days if you don't have to. It's the right thing to do, even if it's not the most desirable thing for me personally."

The issue flared in the seventh inning of the Indians' 4-1 win over the Cubs on Wednesday, when Miller fired a four-seamer to Anthony Rizzo and immediately grabbed at the back of his left leg. Rather than try to stay in the game, Miller motioned for the medical staff and exited after only two pitches. An MRI exam on Thursday morning showed a "low grade" strain, according to manager Terry Francona.

Miller said this is familiar territory for him. Back in 2014, the left-hander had a similar pain flare in the same area in a Sept. 1 outing when he pitched for the Orioles. Following four days off, Miller was back pitching in games for Baltimore. Based on that experience, Miller believes that he will be able to get back on a mound after a brief period of rest.

"I can't look into the future, but I don't think I need 10 days," Miller said. "I think if [the DL] was the old 15 days, I would like to think we probably aren't having this conversation. I'm probably in there getting treatment, trying to figure out how I can get back on the fifth, sixth or seventh day."

Francona echoed that evaluation.

"He probably would not have been a DL [move] if it was 15," said the manager. "That's for sure."

With Miller sidelined, Cleveland purchased the contract of left-hander Jeff Beliveau from Triple-A Columbus and designated lefty Jack Leathersich for assignment to vacate a spot on the 40-man roster. The 31-year-old Beliveau, who was in camp as a non-roster invitee with the Tribe this spring, has allowed two hits, one walk and no runs with 14 strikeouts in 8 2/3 innings with Columbus so far this season.

"He's a great kid," Francona said of Beliveau, who has had stints with the Cubs, Rays and Blue Jays over the past six seasons. "He's really been pitching well. And the hope is, kind of like Tyler Olson last year, you get an opportunity and you jump on and take advantage of it, and he helps us win."

Through 11 appearances this year, Miller had not allowed a run in 10 innings, in which he piled up 17 strikeouts against four walks. In parts of the past three seasons with Cleveland -- since being acquired in a blockbuster trade with the Yankees in July 2016 -- Miller has turned in a 1.33 ERA and 1.82 Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP), along with 158 strikeouts and 27 walks in 101 2/3 innings.

While Miller is out, Francona will mix and match with his other relievers in an effort to bridge the gap to closer Cody Allen. Olson will step into the main lefty relief role, with Beliveau offering an alternative. Right-handers Nick Goody, Dan Otero and Zach McAllister will also get high-leverage opportunities while Miller is temporarily out of the picture.

"They're going to be asked to do more right now," Miller said. "But I think they're ready for it. They've done a great job."

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook.

Cleveland Indians, Andrew Miller