Sept. 10: The Indians announced that Miller has indeed been activated from the disabled list.
Sept. 9: The Indians are planning to activate left-hander Andrew Miller from the 10-day DL on Monday, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports (Twitter link). This would make it slightly beyond a minimum stint for Miller, who originally hit the DL on August 29 due to an external impingement in his throwing shoulder.
Of course, this is also Miller’s third trip to the disabled list this season, as the southpaw has been limited to just 27 appearances (24 innings) due to previous absences dealing with hamstring and knee problems. The knee inflammation was a particularly large issue, costing Miller over two months of the season. It’s safe to say that these injury problems are a reason behind Miller’s numbers, as the reliever hasn’t quite been his usual dominant self, though most pitchers would be more than satisfied with a 3.38 ERA, 2.54 K/BB rate, and 12.4 K/BB.
A fully healthy and in-form Miller, however, is arguably the most dominant bullpen weapon in all of baseball, particularly given his ability to pitch multiple innings. As the 2016 playoffs demonstrated, Miller can be an enormous force in a postseason series, so his return will be a huge boost to a Cleveland team that has been lacking in bullpen consistency all season. (Though the Tribe’s relief numbers have improved lately, thanks to Oliver Perez’s continued late-career resurgence, and the acquisition of Brad Hand.) A strong showing over the season’s last few weeks and into October would also go a long way to rebuilding Miller’s free agent value, as the 33-year-old hits the open market this winter.