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Return of Andrew Miller big for Cleveland Indians bullpen

by Scott Edward Piker
by Scott Edward Piker

The Cleveland Indians are very lucky to be in the worst division in Major League Baseball in 2018. Entering a three game weekend series at Progressive Field against the Kansas City Royals, the Indians sports the worst record among division leaders.

At 18-18, the Indians have not lived up to expectations following a 102 win season in 2017.

Bullpen issues have contributed to Cleveland's struggles, especially over the last three weeks.

On April 25, left-handed reliever Andrew Miller left the game against the Chicago Cubs after just two pitches with a hamstring injury. Since then, Cleveland has gone 5-9 and the bullpen has recorded five losses to only two wins.

The loss of the Indians set-up man has also forced manager Terry Francona to extend closer Cody Allen over the last couple of weeks. Allen took the loss on May 6 against the New York Yankees after the bullpen allowed seven runs in the final two innings to spoil a 4-0 lead and a one hit performance by starter Mike Clevinger over seven innings.

Since Miller went on the disabled list, the Indians bullpen ERA is 9.50 in 36 innings. Miller has been lights out for Cleveland before suffering the injury. The lefty has not allowed an earned run in eleven appearance. Miller is 1-0 with one save and 17 strike outs in ten innings pitched.

Miller has been activated by Cleveland for Friday's season opener against the Kansas City Royals at Progressive Field. The Indians placed reliever Tyler Olson on the paternity list to make room for Miller.