UNC in MLB: Is Andrew Miller close to returning?

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 19: Andrew Miller
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 19: Andrew Miller /

An update on reliever Andrew Miller and when he might return to the Indians

The Cleveland Indians currently sit atop the American League Central with an 8.5 game lead over the second place Minnesota Twins. After starting the year off hot, Cleveland got below .500 in May and things were not looking really good.

But since then, the Indians have been on a roll and are 9 games over .500 at 44-35.

They are currently 8-2 in their last 10 games and just opened a three-game series on the West Coast against the Oakland Athletics. Things are going good for the Indians and they are doing it without one of their best pitchers.

Reliever Andrew Miller was placed on the DL May 26th, his second stint this season as he deals with a sore right knee.

On Wednesday, the Indians did receive a positive update on Miller as the lefty rejoined the team for their road trip.  Miller has thrown some bullpen sessions while being on the DL and has actually impressed coaches during those.

After returning from a personal matter, Miller threw off the ground on Monday and is slowly progressing. While the Indians would love to have him back right now, they just can’t rush anything as Miller is a valuable asset for them in the stretch run.

Manager Terry Francona provided an update as to where Miller is just this past week:

"“He’s going to continue to throw,” said Francona, “but we’re going to take maybe the next 10 days to get that knee as strong as we can. After putting all the medical guys heads together, we want to get him back and let him come back and be himself."

At this rate, it’s unlikely the Indians will have Miller back before the MLB All-Star break which begins on July 16th. The likely option is that Miller is shut down until then and makes his return following the break.

Miller has been fantastic for the Indians since they acquired him before the MLB Trade Deadline in July of 2016. But this year has been a struggle. He’s 1-3 with a 4.40 ERA and one save in 17 appearances this season. He’s been on the DL twice with a knee issue and just hasn’t looked the same.

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If Miller can return healthy, Cleveland will have another shot at returning to the World Series and possibly winning it all. It may just rely on Miller’s health and where he is at come postseason.