Andrew Miller is the injury that could sink the Indians

Yahoo Sports

It’s been an injury-riddled season for Cleveland Indians reliever Andrew Miller. The 33-year-old was placed on the disabled list for the third time this season Wednesday, this time with a shoulder impingement.

In 24 innings, Miller has a 3.38 ERA. Despite his low workload, Miller has been one of the team’s best relievers this season by fWAR.

Andrew Miller placed on the disabled list with a shoulder impingement

Miller was placed on the 10-day disabled list. The move is retroactive to Aug. 27. That doesn’t mean that Miller will be ready to return once his initial stint on the DL is over. The team has yet to issue a timetable for Miller to come back, and given that he’s dealing with a shoulder injury, the club may want to be overly cautious.

How can the Indians replace Andrew Miller?

There’s no replacement for a healthy Andrew Miller. When he’s right, you could make a case for him as the best reliever in baseball. Still, Cleveland can look to trade for players who have cleared waivers. They won’t find a player as good as Miller, but they can at least find someone useful who can bridge the gap until he’s ready to come back.

Losing Andrew Miller puts the Indians in an awful spot for the postseason

Cleveland plays in the awful American League Central, so they will get to the postseason. If Miller isn’t ready by then, the team will enter October with a major weakness. The bullpen has been a huge problem for the club all season. The team’s relievers have combined for a 4.83 ERA in 2018, which ranks 26th in baseball. Cleveland addressed the issue at the trade deadline, picking up Brad Hand and Adam Cimber from the San Diego Padres.

Hand has been great, but Cleveland still doesn’t have many dependable options in the late innings. If Miller isn’t 100 percent, the team could get exposed if their starter needs to leave a game early.

Andrew Miller’s injury comes at a tough time for Cleveland

After a middling start, Cleveland has finally started playing up to their expectations in August. The team is 17-8 in the month. Miller has been a big part of that, posting a 1.86 ERA in 10 games in August.

The team will now have to prove it can thrive without Miller. That won’t be a problem in the regular season, but it will be a huge concern once the playoffs begin.

Andrew Miller has hit the disabled list once again. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Andrew Miller has hit the disabled list once again. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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