Indians left-handed reliever Andrew Miller is scheduled to rejoin the team on Monday, when he’ll help the team finish off their road trip with a three-game series against the Rays. Miller has been laid up with a left shoulder impingement for nearly two weeks, but told reporters he feels ready to pitch again after successfully tossing a bullpen session on Thursday and receiving a cortisone shot in his shoulder.
It’s been a rough year for the 33-year-old lefty, who missed significant time with a hamstring strain and chronic knee inflammation over the summer and has yet to replicate the superb numbers that netted him a second All-Star nomination in 2017. He’ll head into the next road series with a 3.38 ERA, 4.9 BB/9, and 12.4 SO/9 over 24 innings — the worst marks he’s recorded since his 2011 run with the Red Sox.
Miller will return to a team that entered Sunday’s game with a comfortable 16.5-game lead in the AL Central despite having one of the most unstable bullpens in the league. According to FanGraphs, Cleveland’s relief corps currently ranks fourth-worst with a collective 4.69 ERA and -0.4 fWAR — something the ailing left-hander is unlikely to single-handedly correct over the next few weeks. Assuming Miller’s struggles on the mound can be mostly attributed to continued health problems and not any fundamental issue with his mechanics or delivery, however, he might well be able to turn his season around in time to make a real difference when the postseason kicks off next month.
Earlier today, Craig wrote about a potential shake-up in the Giants’ front office. It didn’t take long for that to come to fruition. Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports that the Giants have fired GM Bobby Evans.
Evans had been with the Giants for 25 years, starting in 1994 as a minor league administrative assistant. He was promoted to director of minor league operations in 1998, became the director of player personnel in 2005, then was named vice president of baseball operations in 2009. For the last four years, Evans has been the Giants’ general manager.
In part due to Evans’ influence, the Giants were quite successful, winning the World Series in 2010, 2012, and 2014. However, the last two years have been the Giants’ worst in quite some time. The club went 64-98 (.395) last year and enters Monday’s action 72-84 (.462) despite some splashy additions in the offseason (Andrew McCutchen and Evan Longoria).
There will certainly be conversations as to whether or not it’s fair that Evans is the fall guy for the Giants’ recent lack of success. But that’s part of the deal when you’re a public-facing employee in the front office of a baseball team. Pavlovic says it seems unlikely Evans remains with the organization in a different role.
The Giants have reportedly been considering hiring a “high-profile baseball operations executive” to push the team in a new direction. Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that Ned Colletti is the favorite to become the new GM. The offseason is still more than a month away, so the Giants have some time to stew on their candidates and not make any rash decisions.