Miller to keep on keeping on
The Indians had low expectations for Adam Miller pitching with decreased range of motion and strength in his right middle finger. It had seemed as though Miller was headed for season-ending and career-threatening surgery to repair the problem.
But after nine throwing sessions, including three bullpens, Miller has had no pain, no inflammation and no further decreases in range of motion, and he’s made enough incremental gains in command and velocity that the Indians now believe he might be able to avoid surgery.
“He’s proven us wrong on all three fronts,” head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff said.
And the Indians, of course, are happy to be wrong, because this means that Miller might once again be able to pitch himself back into their plans.
First things first, though, he must be able to show he can throw and command his slider with the finger predicament. Thus far, he’s thrown nothing but fastballs and changeups. He’ll begin throwing the slider off flat ground Saturday and Sunday before his next bullpen session on Monday.
Miller is far from out of the woods. Because he has altered his release point and his mechanics to compensate for the finger issue (he’s now pushing the ball off his right index finger, whereas he used to push off the middle finger), he is certainly at risk for other injuries. But for now, this is good news on Miller, and the right-hander is apparently pleased with his progress. Soloff said Miller’s demeanor is “night and day” from 10 days ago.
“I think he clearly understands the non-surgical route is an option,” Soloff said, “and it’s becoming more and more of an option each day.”
More info on Indians.com in a little bit.