The Indians set-up man Andrew Miller was placed on the 10-day DL. With the reliever market this past trade deadline, the Indians could have used a backup.
The Cleveland Indians started the trend of giving up some top prospects for an elite relief pitcher. It almost worked out fully as they lost in the World Series. This season has been just as good for Andrew Miller. Unfortunately, the Indians and his fantasy owners will have to be without him for a few days.
Miller was placed on the 10-day DL with right knee patella tendinitis, as first reported by MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian. This is not only the most recent pitcher injury but the most recent for the Indians.
The team also lost Boone Logan to injury and Josh Tomlin will miss about six weeks. With the Royals heating up, this isn’t a good time for the Indians to start losing pitchers.
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Miller was pitching another fantastic season this year. He has a 1.67 ERA, 0.759 WHIP, 13.0 K/9, 2.3 BB/9 and 21 holds. Miller currently ranks No. 15 among relief pitchers on the ESPN Player Rater.
However, his numbers are, somehow, down from last year. His strikeout and walk rates are going in the wrong direction. Miller’s ground ball rate is down 15 percent and fly ball rate is up eight percent from 2016 to 2017. Opposing batters have been able to poke the ball to the opposite side of the field 21 percent more.
Miller hasn’t looked like himself in recent games. Over his last 10 appearances, 11.2 innings, he has one loss, two blown saves and three earned runs.
If you are looking for a replacement, the waiver wire is full of sleeper picks, especially after all the trades that took place.
San Diego Padres relief pitcher Brad Hand is the team’s new closer. There were plenty of rumors that Hand would be on the move but, after Brandon Maurer was traded, Hand took over the closer duties. He is available in 55.5 percent of ESPN leagues.
Oakland’s Blake Treinen is also splitting time as the A’s closer with Santiago Casilla. The platoon doesn’t help his value all that much, but a couple of saves and low ratios per week isn’t a bad short-term replacement.
I talked briefly about Matt Belisle in my Brandon Kintzler piece. But, with Taylor Rogers not looking good recently, he could finish the season as the Twins closer.
Miller is one of the few set-up pitchers that is almost universally owned. He has a great strikeout rate and low ratio stats. The injury puts his owners behind the proverbial 8-ball for a couple of weeks. Luckily, there are sleeper options available.