clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Andrew Miller and Josh Tomlin placed on DL just in time for August gauntlet

This week in transactions, the Indians will need to get through at least the next week without Andrew Miller.

Cleveland Indians v San Francisco Giants Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images


July 28

Transferred LHP Boone Logan to the 60-day Disabled List (left latissimus dorsal strain)

Claimed RHP Diego Moreno off waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays

Boone is likely done for the rest of the regular season, and if he has to have surgery, wouldn’t be able to pitch in the playoff if the Cleveland Indians make it. Moreno has pitched well in Triple-A, but hasn’t done as well in his brief major-league league appearances; he’ll serve as depth, especially in the wake of the Perci Garner injury/release.

July 31

Traded LHP Thomas Pannone (AA) and 2B Samad Taylor (R) to the Toronto Blue Jays for RHP Joe Smith

Place Josh Tomlin on the 10-day Disabled List (hamstring)

Recalled LHP Tyler Olson from Columbus (AAA)

Designated RHP Perci Garner for Assignment

The trade for Smith looks even more important in the wake of Miller’s injury. Smith has quietly been one of the better relievers in the AL this year, and should shoulder a lot of the innings that Miller was handling, and when Miller returns, would be a bridge (along with Bryan Shaw) between the starter and Miller/Allen.

Tomlin will be out six weeks with the hamstring strain, so that takes care of the “six starters” problem.

Garner last pitched on July 14th, and didn’t record an out. At this stage of the season, the Indians couldn’t keep him on the 40-man roster. 11 months ago, the Indians added Garner to the 40-man roster so that he’d be eligible for the postseason, and now, after some injuries and poor performances, he’s a free agent (see August 3)

With Miller’s injury, Olson becomes the club’s sole left-handed reliever. He played a big part in keeping the Indians in Tuesday’s game after Carlos Carrasco’s early exit, and could be a key part in the bullpen even after Miller returns.

August 1

Activated RHP Joe Smith

Optioned RHP Shawn Armstrong to Columbus (AAA)

This move got Smith onto the 25-man roster (the previous day the Indians added him to the 40-man roster via the Garner DFA).

August 2

Placed LHP Andrew Miller on the 10-day Disabled List (right knee patella tendonitis)

Recalled RHP Adam Plutko from Columbus (AAA)

The Indians were going to need another arm after Tuesday’s game, but I didn’t this move coming. Miller had apparently been trying to pitch through the knee soreness, and of late it was affecting his pitching. Placing Miller in the Disabled List now is going to make the next stretch of games more difficult to get through, but that’s a lesser evil than risking a more serious injury.

August 3

Released RHP Perci Garner

The upcoming schedule

Wednesday’s postponement in Boston came at a great time for a pitching staff that was running on fumes (and had just lost its best reliever), but it does create a gauntlet later this month. Beginning next Tuesday, the Indians will be playing on 23 consecutive days, with their next off day August 31. And the vast majority of these games are going to be played against teams still in the running for the playoffs, with six of them will be against the Kansas City Royals, the team that’s 2.5 games behind the Indians in the AL Central.

What does this stretch of games mean to the roster? Terry Francona will probably try to give his position player regulars a day off during it, but the more difficult juggling act will come with the pitching staff. Right now the Indians have an eight-man bullpen with a longman (Adam Plutko), but they’ll probably have to pare that back to seven once both Jason Kipnis and Lonnie Chisenhall return from the disabled list. And if Andrew Miller comes back on time, that’s going to further decrease the roster flexibility the Indians have to respond to pitching needs (not that Andrew Miller returning is a bad thing).

What do I mean by this? Assume that when Jason Kipnis returns (probably in a couple of days), the Indians will option Giovanny Urshela. So when Lonnie Chisenhall returns, the Indians will be forced to option a pitcher, unless they’re willing to send Bradley Zimmer to the minors; they need a backup infielder (Gonzalez), a backup catcher (Perez), and neither Brandon Guyer or Austin Jackson can be optioned. That leaves Adam Plutko (or whoever is in Plutko’s spot). Andrew Miller’s return would mean Tyler Olson would be optioned. That would leave Nick Goody as the only pitcher in the bullpen with an option remaining, and Mike Clevinger as the only pitcher in the bullpen with an option. Neither of which would be a desired move, especially with Josh Tomlin out for six weeks.

All these roster prognostications tend to work themselves out through performance or injury developments (just last week I was proclaiming that the Indians had a good problem with six healthy starters), but it is something to keep in the back of your mind as the dog days of August chug along.

Latest 25-man/40-man Roster

August 3 2017

With Josh Tomlin now out for a good portion of the rest of the regular season, the three AAA starters on the 40-man roster become more important. Adam Plutko was called up in the wake of Tuesday’s slobberknocker, and probably will be sent back shortly, thanks to Wednesday’s rainout and Kluber’s complete game. Ryan Merritt and Shawn Morimando would be the choices to start a game if one of the remaining five starters gets hurt, or perhaps be called up if the bullpen gets overworked.

Anthony Santander, who still hasn’t appeared in a major-league game for the Orioles, has begun a rehab assignment in the minors. The assignment started July 27, so the Orioles will need to activate him by August 15. That means the Orioles would need to carry him on their 25-man roster for a couple weeks until the rosters expend on September 1, after which it will be a lot easier for them. However, even if he remains on the Baltimore roster for the rest of the season, the Orioles will still have to keep him on their roster for at least the first month of the 2018 season to satisfy the Rule 5 regulations (a player has to be on the active roster at least 90 days).