With Andrew Miller on the disabled list, the Cleveland Indians once-mighty bullpen took another hit. Can Cleveland survive the playoffs with him missing time?
The Cleveland Indians bullpen has collectively thrown to a 4.77 ERA, the sixth-lowest mark among all 30 clubs.
With Andrew Miller on the disabled list, the Tribe have been dealt a tough card, and one that will make that bullpen ERA even worse. The crazy part is that by Miller’s standards, his 3.38 ERA is too high.
Whatever the case is, Cleveland is going to miss him. His supporting group have produced mixed results.
Fortunately for the Indians, their trade deadline prize, Brad Hand, has been as advertised. Through 17.2 innings, he’s allowed just three runs compared to his 24 strikeouts.
On the other side, Adam Cimber, Hand’s teammate in San Diego, has allowed six earned runs and two home runs through 10.2 innings.
It’s fair to say that Oliver Perez has been arguably the teams best reliever of late. Yes, that’s a real sentence in 2018.
The 36-year-old has been feeling it, as he’s spun a 1.08 ERA through 25 innings.
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It’s not necessarily a huge surprise, as he’s had solid strikeout numbers the last few years despite his high ERA’s.
With the division essentially locked up, Terry Francona & Co aren’t focused on the regular season for Miller, but the playoffs.
If he’s not the same in the postseason or has to miss an extended period of time, it could spell the end of Cleveland’s postseason hopes. With such fragility and uncertainty in the ‘pen, it’s hard to envision the Indians match up well with the relievers of the Houston Astros or New York Yankees.
As a result, Miller will undoubtedly use this stint as a time to rest for his teams impending trip to the postseason.
The question will remain; Can the Indians’ survive the playoffs with (or without) Miller?