Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Miller to be activated from DL for tonight's tilt

MLB.com @MLBastian

MINNEAPOLIS -- Andrew Miller has shouldered a heavy load for the Indians since joining the team last summer. Cleveland is hoping that his recent stint on the shelf not only helped him get over the right knee issue that had been ailing him but also allowed him to take a deep breath.

Come Friday in Kansas City, Miller is expected to be activated from the 10-day disabled list, following a 16-day down period due to patellar tendinitis in his knee. The big lefty completed a one-inning Minor League rehab appearance with Triple-A Columbus on Wednesday night with no issues.

View Full Game Coverage

MINNEAPOLIS -- Andrew Miller has shouldered a heavy load for the Indians since joining the team last summer. Cleveland is hoping that his recent stint on the shelf not only helped him get over the right knee issue that had been ailing him but also allowed him to take a deep breath.

Come Friday in Kansas City, Miller is expected to be activated from the 10-day disabled list, following a 16-day down period due to patellar tendinitis in his knee. The big lefty completed a one-inning Minor League rehab appearance with Triple-A Columbus on Wednesday night with no issues.

View Full Game Coverage

"For us to get him back," Indians closer Cody Allen said, "it's a big boost not only for our bullpen, but to us as a club. It lengthens everything out. The guy is an absolute weapon. Whenever you can have him healthy on your club, it's huge."

In his outing for the Clippers on Wednesday, Miller threw 12 pitches to three batters and ended with a pair of strikeouts. The Indians were pleased with the sharpness on Miller's slider, and by the reports of how he felt physically. Prior to being placed on the DL on Aug. 2, Miller had been dealing with the knee soreness for roughly a month, and it took a toll on his mechanics.

Tweet from @CLBClippers: Andrew Miller tonight:12 pitches10 for strikes 3 batters faced 2 K's1 amazing stache pic.twitter.com/OkpGnL9j0r

"It's going to be good to have him feeling better," Indians bullpen coach Jason Bere said. "And to be able to do the things mechanically that he needs to do to have that pure stuff that he's always had. He's shown that, even when things weren't right, he was still able to go and get hitters out and still able to dominate. This is going to make it probably a little easier for him to do it day in and day out."

In 46 games this season, Miller has a 1.67 ERA with 78 strikeouts against 15 walks in 54 innings for the Tribe. Over the past two years between stints with the Yankees and Indians, Miller has posted a 1.52 ERA with 231 strikeouts against 29 walks in 126 games (147 2/3 innings), including the 19 1/3 innings he logged during the playoffs last season.

During the past 12 games with Miller sidelined, Cleveland's rotation certainly did its part to ease the burden on the bullpen, posting a 1.89 ERA in that span with more than seven innings a game on average. Within the relief corps, lefty Tyler Olson (nine scoreless appearances, entering Thursday) and recently acquired Joe Smith (5 2/3 shutout innings, entering Thursday) helped pick up the slack with Miller out.

"Smitty's thrown the ball unbelievably well for us," Allen said. "And then Olie has done an unbelievable job of getting some of those tough lefties when normally you'd be trotting Miller out there. We've been playing a lot of tight, a lot of big games, since Miller went down.

"We were trying to do was just pick him up a little bit until he got back. For him to be able to get some time away and kind of get healthy and get right, and for us to get some good results for him, that's been big."

Merritt called up from Triple-A

Prior to Thursday's doubleheader, the Indians recalled left-hander Ryan Merritt from Triple-A to serve as the 26th man for the day. With Merritt scheduled to start the nightcap, starter Mike Clevinger moved to the bullpen for the twin bill. That alignment allows Cleveland to avoid a roster move on Monday to add a starter, as Clevinger can now be lined up to start that game against the Red Sox.

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