The return of Andrew Miller
This may be the only big storyline in this series, but it is perhaps the most important news the Indians have gotten this year. Andrew Miller was activated off of the 10-day DL today as Tyler Olson left for paternity leave.
We all know how bad the Indians bullpen was without Andrew Miller. Miller has worked 10 scoreless innings this year with 17 strikeouts. The team went 5-9 while Miller was on the DL and it forced a lot of the Tribe starters to work deeper into games.
I previously discussed how the absence of Miller may have affected the bullpen mentally. The Indians had one of the best relief corps in early April but have since dropped to 14th in the AL with a 5.40 ERA. They got a break in the last game as Carlos Carrasco pitched a complete game. Maybe the extra day off and the return of Andrew Miller will get the bullpen back on the right track.
Worse/Best case scenario
Worse case, 1-2 series loss: If the Indians lose this series there are gonna be a lot of questions about what is wrong with this team. That’s a big if. The Indians have no business losing to a Royals team that is imploding as the season goes along. The pitchers the Indians are bringing to the mound are better than their opponents. But this is baseball, and anything can happen.
Best case, 3-0 series sweep: This would be just what the Indians need. A sweep would put the Tribe back at three games over .500 and keep them firmly in the lead in the AL Central. It wouldn’t come as a big surprise given how poorly the Royals have played, but division play can be unpredictable.
The series kicks off tonight at 7:10 pm in Cleveland and will continue during the day throughout the weekend. Here’s to hoping the Indians return to form.