CLEVELAND — It appears as though another season for pitcher Adam Miller, the Indians’ top prospect, will be marred by injuries.
Miller, a 22-year-old right-hander with Triple-A Buffalo, has been shut down after an examination in Cleveland on Monday revealed inflammation in his right elbow joint.
It is the second time this year that Miller has found the injured list, also missing a month with a strained tendon in his middle finger. And it is the second time in five professional seasons that he has been limited by physical ailments, making just 15 starts in 2005 after injuring the same elbow in spring training.
Miller, who is 4-3 with a 5.12 ERA in
13 games (11 starts) at Buffalo, was expected to make his big league debut sometime this season after offering up a dominating spring training performance.
Upon leaving the disabled list with the finger injury, Miller made two relief appearances and was considered a candidate to join Cleveland’s bullpen. He returned to the Bisons’ rotation for two dismal starts (July 14 and 19), feeling discomfort in the elbow after the second one.
Miller is expected to be shut down for the next 10-14 days before beginning a return-to-throw program, with hopes that he will miss only two to three starts.
Cleveland manager Eric Wedge was asked if he thought Miller would pitch again the rest of the season.
“It’s really too early to tell,” Wedge said. “It’s still July, so let’s give it a little time to play out.”
Injured outfielder David Dellucci, on the 60-day disabled list following hamstring surgery, has progressed so well that the Indians are optimistic he will be able to return by mid- to late-August. He is eligible to leave the injured list on Aug. 20.
Dellucci (.234, 4 HR, 20 RBIs) sustained the injury while running to first base on June 19 and was not expected to play again until September, if at all.
Bump in the road?
C.C. Sabathia entered his 22nd start of the season Tuesday riding a string of three consecutive subpar outings in which he allowed 16 earned runs on 30 hits through 17 innings.
“All pitchers have a rough stretch over the course of a long season,” Wedge said. “Hopefully that was it for C.C.”
Though Sabathia is en route to the best season of his career, he has been dominant on just a handful of occasions, posting a 3.81 ERA, while allowing nine or more hits nine times.
Cleveland’s first-round draft choice this year, Beau Mills, had his best day as a pro on Monday, going 3-for-3 with a triple, his third homer and three RBIs in Single-A Lake County’s 10-5 win at Lexington. Mills entered Tuesday batting a combined .246 (32-for-130) with eight doubles, three homers and 21 RBIs in 30 games for the Captains and Single-A Mahoning Valley.
l Matt Whitney, one of the Indians’ top prospects before breaking his leg in a pickup basketball game and missing the entire 2003 season, appears to be back on track. In 92 games with Lake County and Single-A Kinston through Monday, the first baseman led Cleveland’s minor leaguers with 21 homers and 84 RBIs, while batting over .300.
The Indians entered Tuesday leading the American League with 119 home runs. Cleveland has six players with at least 10 homers.
l Sabathia, who turned 27 on Saturday, leads all major league pitchers under the age of 28 with 94 wins. He ranks second to Chicago’s Mark Buehrle (104) among pitchers under the age of 29.
Contact Chris Assenheimer at 329-7137 or firstname.lastname@example.org.