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Indians activate Andrew Miller, designate Zach McAllister for assignment

One of these moves isn’t surprising. One of them shouldn’t be, but kind of is.

MLB: Cleveland Indians at Seattle Mariners Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Indians have officially activated their ace reliever, Andrew Miller, and designated a not-ace reliever for assignment.

Miller, 33, has been working back from a series of knee injuries that have kept him off the mound since May 25, and not very effective prior to that. In 14.1 major league innings this season (17 appearances), Miller has allowed seven earned runs off 13 hits and issued 10 walks. That’s all a far cry from his usual numbers, which were enough to entice the Indians into trading away their then top prospect Clint Frazier and a promising pitcher Justus Sheffield for two and a half years of Miller back in 2016.

Nearly two and a half years later — with one dramatic World Series run under his belt — Miller will be back on the mound to aid the Indians for likely the final time. Assuming he is healthy and Cody Allen gets his mechanics straightened out, this could end up being one of the best Indians bullpens in a long, long time. They’ll have Brad Hand, Adam Cimber, Andrew Miller, Cody Allen, a surprising Neil Ramirez. Couple that with whoever gets shifted to the bullpen for the playoffs, and suddenly the Indians have a pretty formidable armada to close out games.

Miller had a rough start to his latest rehab outing in the lower levels of the minors, but he’s cruised in his last four outings with the Triple-A Columbus Clippers, allowing one earned run off four hits with three strikeouts and no walks.

To make room for Miller, the Indians will designated Zach McAllister for assignment following another disappointing campaign out of the bullpen. The 30-year-old has a 4.97 ERA in 41.2 innings this season with a strikeout rate that is lower than it has ever been as a full-time reliever.

I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for McAllister — especially when he was on the verge of being a fire-balling reliever — but he never put it together for the Tribe. Far from a total trainwreck, but an extremely volatile commodity in the bullpen.

Maybe he gets a shot elsewhere, or maybe he just toils in Triple-A for a little while. Either way, I wish him the best.