Andrew Miller is back on the disabled list.
Prior to Tuesday’s series opener against Central Division rival Minnesota, the Indians placed Miller on the 10-day DL with a case of bursitis in his left shoulder.
The injury is not considered serious, but it is the third time Miller has landed on the injured list. He missed two weeks early into the season with a hamstring strain and over two months with right knee inflammation.
Miller said Wednesday night that he still believes there is still time to save his lost season.
Miller’s absence is a bigger issue thanks to the season-long struggles of closer Cody Allen, who allowed the game-winning run in the Twins’ 4-3 victory Wednesday.
Right now, the only relief pitcher Cleveland can rely on is left-hander Brad Hand.
It looked as though the Indians had solved their bullpen issues when they acquired Hand and Adam Cimber at the trade deadline. But unless Miller returns to form when he’s activated and Allen can figure things out, they will enter the postseason with question marks in the department.
It looks as though the Indians will also enter the postseason with veteran Melky Cabrera in right field and rookie Greg Allen in center field, since they were unable to pull off an August waiver-wire trade through Thursday.
After splitting the first two games of the series with Minnesota, Cleveland won the rubber match Thursday to extend its lead in the division to 14 games.
Struggling second baseman Jason Kipnis hit a game-winning three-run home run in the sixth inning to give the Indians a 5-3 victory. Kipnis has been hot over his last four games and if it continues, the talk of him heading to the bench, Jose Ramirez moving to second base and Yandy Diaz playing third, will quiet down.
Cleveland’s magic number to clinch the division stood at 16 through Thursday.