The Cleveland Indians announced on Thursday that All-Star left-hander Andrew Miller has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a left hamstring strain.
In a set of corresponding roster moves that affected Triple-A Columbus, the Indians purchased the contract of left-hander Jeff Beliveau from the Clippers and created a spot on the 40-man roster by designating fellow southpaw bullpen mate Jack Leathersich for assignment.
Miller was injured in the seventh inning of the series finale with the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday night. After throwing his first two pitches for balls to the left-handed hitting Anthony Rizzo, Miller was seen trying to stretch out on the mound before he was visited by the Indians training staff and manager Terry Francona. Miller left the game and was replaced by Tyler Olson, who retired Rizzo to end the inning.
Miller underwent an MRI on Thursday morning, which revealed a low grade strain. He said following the game on Wednesday night that he had experienced something similar while with the Baltimore Orioles in 2014.
The relief staff has not had a lot of action of late thanks to continued quality work from the starting rotation, but the team needed to burn through a chunk of those available arms in Tuesday night’s 10-3 loss to the Chicago Cubs, when five different relievers came in to pitch after a short outing from Josh Tomlin, possibly making it a little more risky to run down a man in the bullpen.
“With the DL being 10 days now, it just makes sense,” said Miller in a story on Indians.com. “You don’t want to hang 24 guys out to dry for, call it, seven or eight days if you don’t have to. It’s the right thing to do, even if it’s not the most desirable thing for me personally.”
Miller does not seem to believe that the injury will keep him out of action for anything more than the required ten-day stay on the shelf.
“I can’t look into the future, but I don’t think I need ten days. I think if it was the old 15 days, I would like to think we probably aren’t having this conversation. I’m probably in there getting treatment, trying to figure out how I can get back on the fifth, sixth, or seventh day.”
With just 22 games logged in the 2018 season, the Indians are being cautious with one of the most important bullpen arms in the game, and understandably so.
Beliveau was off to a hot start for the Clippers. He had appeared in seven games and worked in a total of eight and two-thirds innings, striking out 14 batters while giving up no runs, two hits, and just one walk in that span.
The 31-year-old was signed by the Indians in November to a minor league contract and came to Spring Training on a non-roster invitation. He has spent parts of five seasons in the Majors, appearing with the Chicago Cubs (2012), Tampa Bay Rays (2013-15), and Toronto Blue Jays (2017). He entered the pro game in 2008 when he was an 18th round selection by the Cubs out of Florida Atlantic University.
He will wear the number 38 for the Indians, last worn by reliever Joe Smith last season.
As for Leathersich, the Indians have seven days to trade him or place him on irrevocable outright waivers. If he goes unclaimed through the waiver process, Cleveland could outright him to the minors or release him.
The 27-year-old left-hander was 0-2 in seven games for the Clippers with a 10.80 ERA and a 2.00 WHIP in five total innings of work. He had walked seven and hit one of the 27 batters faced at Triple-A this season.
Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images