CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Indians left-handed reliever Andrew Miller threw a 30-pitch simulated game with live batters prior to the team’s 11-0 win over the Detroit Tigers at Progressive Field Monday night, and after following up with medical personnel, the decision has been made that he will pitch again Thursday.
Prior to tonight’s game against the Tigers, Indians manager Terry Francona said Miller will pitch either in another simulated game or be activated for the four-game series against an American League Central Division for, the Kansas City Royals, at Progressive Field.
“He’s raring to go,” Francona said of Miller Monday.
“I told him we’d do his visit after he cooled down and kind of get his thoughts, then see what the next step is. But the fact that he’s kind of chomping at the bit is really good because he’s pretty level-headed about doing the right thing and he’s kind of chomping at the bit, so we’ll see what the next step is.”
On August 25, the Indians announced that Miller had been shut down from throwing for five to seven days by medical staff because of patellofemoral syndrome with associated patella tendonitis.
According to the Indians’ press release, Miller underwent follow-up exams and sought multiple opinions before it was determined that he would abstain from throwing for a week.
After being activated from a 16-day stint on the disabled list (August 2-16), Miller was removed from a win over the Boston Red Sox after allowing a walk to the only batter he faced when his typical velocity was not present and he appeared to be laboring on the mound.
Miller was placed on the 10-day DL for the second time in a month the next day.
On the season, Miller is 4-3 with two saves and a 1.65 earned run average over 54.2 innings of work in 48 appearances. He has allowed 11 runs, 10 of which were earned, and 26 hits with three home runs and 17 walks against 79 strikeouts.
He has a 0.79 WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched) and opposing hitters are batting just .139 against him.
In 2016, Miller was a mid-season acquisition of the Indians from the New York Yankees, and proved to be critical to the team’s playoff run.
Miller pitched in 10 games last postseason, and over 19.1 innings of work for the short-handed Indians, he struck out a Major League Baseball record 30 hitters against just five walks and 12 hits with three earned runs allowed.
Miller was named the Most Valuable Player of last year’s American League Championship Series.
During the ALCS, Miller was labeled the “Angel of Death” by Toronto media members, and while he laughed at the moniker last October, he was critical to the Indians’ run to the World Series despite having only two healthy starters, Corey Kluber and Josh Tomlin, in the rotation.
In the ALCS, Miller pitched his way through the middle and late innings, registering 21 strikeouts and allowing only seven of 41 batters faced to reach base over 11.2 innings of work. In doing so, Miller became just the fourth relief pitcher to be named the ALCS MVP.
In parts of two regular seasons with the Indians, Miller is 8-3 with five saves and a 1.61 earned run average over 83.2 innings of work in 74 appearances. Miller has allowed just 40 hits, 15 earned runs and six home runs and has 125 strikeouts against just 19 walks since joining the Indians.
Along with the coaching staff, Kluber, outfielder Michael Brantley, third baseman Jose Ramirez and shortstop Francisco Lindor, Miller represented the Indians at the 2017 MLB All-Star Game at Marlins Park in Miami, and earned the save by pitching a scoreless 10th inning.
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