The Indians have placed lefty reliever Andrew Miller on the 10-day disabled list with an external impingement in his left shoulder. Fellow southpaw Tyler Olson was recalled to take the open roster spot.
Details on Miller’s outlook are not yet known, but it’s obviously concerning to see the 33-year-old hitting the shelf yet again. He has already missed time this year, owing to hamstring and knee issues, and has not been quite himself when he has been available.
Through 24 innings on the season, Miller carries a 3.38 ERA with 12.4 K/9 and 4.9 BB/9. Those are still productive numbers, needless to say, but they’re a far cry from the dominant levels at which Miller has performed in recent years. He is still tough to square up, but now owns a 1.292 WHIP in 2018 after averaging a minuscule 0.789 figure since the start of the 2014 season.
There are other less-than-encouraging signs as well. Miller’s 12.4% swinging-strike rate is his lowest level since he first became a full-time reliever in 2012. His average fastball is down to 93.2 mph; it had registered at 95.4 (2016) and 94.5 (2017) in the prior two campaigns.
The DL placement may just be an opportunity to get Miller some added rest, to be fair. It isn’t as if the Indians are desperate to squeeze out wins down the stretch; they’ll understandably be prioritizing his readiness for the postseason. Still, it’s not exactly promising that the move was deemed necessary, particularly given the general struggles exhibited this season by the Cleveland relief corps.