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.