The Cleveland Indians won the game on Monday against the Boston Red Sox, but it was a game that might have consequences in the forseeable future. Both Andrew Miller (knee) and Carlos Santana (back) left the game early with chronic injuries that crept back up on them.
On Tuesday, the Indians announced that Miller and Danny Salazar would be making a trip to the DL. Yandy Diaz and Shawn Armstrong will be called up from Columbus to replace the pitchers on the 25-man roster.
Andrew Miller (right knee patella tendinitis) and Danny Salazar (right elbow inflammation) to the 10-day DL.
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) August 22, 2017
The run of injuries began in the bottom of the sixth inning when Red Sox catcher Christian Vasquez failed to catch a high fastball from reliever Joe Kelly during warmup pitches. Home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt had been crouched behind the catcher to get a feel for Kelly’s pitch movement and was struck squarely in the facesmask. After completing the inning, Wendelstedt left the game.
With second base umpire Alan Porter changing his gear in the clubhouse, a lengthy delay happened while Andrew Miller was attempting to warmup for the top of the seventh inning. He needed to warm up on three separate occasions to stay loose. His efforts failed him as he walked Mookie Betts to lead off the inning before throwing a first pitch ball to Andre Benintendi. The grimace on that pitch was all it took for manager Terry Francona to give Miller the hook though he did not look like himself before that pitch either.
Andrew Miller threw seven pitches, all fastballs. MPH: 90, 90, 88, 90, 91, 91, 92.
His average FB this season? 95 mph. Yeah, he's not right
— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) August 22, 2017
The official word from the Indians was Miller re-aggravated his right knee patellar tendonitis. Danny Salazar has right elbow inflammation.
Carlos Santana had reportedly1 talked his way into the lineup on Monday despite having some tightness in his lower back. After making several defensive plays throughout the evening, he was lifted in the eighth inning when the tightness returned. There has been no official word from the team if the tightness will keep Santana out of the lineup moving forward.
The defensive replacement for Santana wound up being Bradley Zimmer coming into the game with Jay Bruce shifting down to first base. The move might have saved the game as Zimmer made a fantastic play in the top of the ninth inning.
The Indians are already dealing with Corey Kluber having a sprained ankle, Michael Brantley on the DL and not yet being cleared to run, Lonnie Chisenhall on the DL with a calf issue (and now the paternity leave list), and Josh Tomlin still working his way back to the rotation.
Jay Bruce continues to prove his value to the organization. Not only does he continue to hit (despite striking out in the eighth on Monday when the Indians could have put the game away with runners on second and third and one out), but Bruce gave the Tribe the option of bringing in Zimmer instead of needing Encarnacion to play first because Bruce played 11 games there for the New York Mets this season.
The Indians depth will continue to be tested over the last six weeks of the season. The hope is that the team is able to get healthy and make a full strength postseason run. But, the knowledge that the team is capable of winning games against the best competition in MLB without being full strength is valuable too.
- Thank you to STO’s Andre Knott for the in-game reporting. [↩]