Jonathan Lucroy has been on the disabled list since late May, when his wife dropped a suitcase on his hand–and sadly got a bunch of hate mail from “fans”–but the fracture has healed enough for the Brewers catcher to catch a bullpen session over the weekend.
Rowan Kavner of MLB.com reports that Lucroy had the cast removed on June 20 and is now wearing a brace, but he’s likely still several weeks from being cleared to hit or throw. He was initially given a six-week recovery timetable, which still seems fairly accurate.
Milwaukee has gotten decent production from fill-ins George Kottaras and Martin Maldonado, but Lucroy was hitting .345 with five homers and a .969 OPS in 43 games before the off-field injury.
It’s been one issue after the next for Indians reliever Andrew Miller, and on Saturday, the left-hander landed back on the 10-day disabled list with right knee inflammation. According to comments made by club manager Terry Francona, Miller’s knee has been a problem since the start of the year. The team has yet to determine a concrete timetable for his return to the bullpen.
Miller, 33, hasn’t looked like his usual sub-2.00 ERA, 2.0+ fWAR self this season, though he paired a 4.40 ERA and 6.3 BB/9 with an impressive 14.4 SO/9 across his first 14 1/3 innings. A left hamstring strain and minor back injury hampered his effectiveness on the mound, though this appears to be a more serious issue — especially given the five weeks he spent recovering from a tendon injury in his right knee last year.
In corresponding moves, the Indians designated right-hander Oliver Drake for assignment and recalled Triple-A right-handers Ben Taylor and Evan Marshall. Taylor, 25, was working on a 3.63 ERA, 1.0 BB/9 and 11.4 SO/9 through 17 1/3 innings in Triple-A Columbus, while 28-year-old Marshall turned in a terrific 0.77 ERA, 0.8 BB/9 and 6.9 SO/9 over his first 11 2/3 innings. Neither reliever has pitched more than a handful of innings at the big league level in 2018.