Miller plans to pitch through right wrist fracture

Left-hander struck by liner during outing against Braves

Miller plans to pitch through right wrist fracture

TAMPA, Fla. -- Andrew Miller vows to be ready to serve as the Yankees' closer on Opening Day and beyond, saying on Thursday that his intention is to play through a chip fracture in his right wrist.

The left-hander was struck by a line drive on Wednesday, having just entered the game against the Braves in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Miller had the wrist lightly wrapped on Thursday morning, and he said that despite some swelling and soreness, the wrist feels better than he expected.

"It's my right hand; I don't really need it," Miller said. "I don't see any reason I can't work around it, unless for some reason the doctor tells me I have to protect it for some reason that we don't foresee. I plan to be able to manipulate my glove around it and not really worry about it."

Miller had an X-ray and a CT scan on Wednesday, the latter of which revealed the fracture. With the club leaving Tampa on Thursday, he is scheduled to see a specialist either in Miami or New York to determine the next course of action.

If that specialist tells Miller that he cannot pitch, he quipped, "I'd probably find another doctor. I can't imagine not playing because of something on my right hand."

Miller said that the fracture was to his sesamoid bone, and he plans to consult with the Yankees' equipment manager to find some additional padding or protection for his glove. Miller might not need much; in 60 games last season, he had just five total chances, including covering first base.

"Let them hit it to somebody else," Miller said. "[Shortstop] Didi [Gregorius] is pretty good; I'll just get out of the way and let him figure it out. I'm not really joking; I think that's honestly the way it is. The chances of me fielding the ball are pretty slim. We can work around it for a few days."

The Yanks open the season on Monday at 1:05 p.m. ET against the Astros at Yankee Stadium, and manager Joe Girardi said that he would be comfortable sending Miller to the mound. Girardi applauded Miller's attitude.

"It says a lot about him," Girardi said. "It says he cares about two things, winning and helping his teammates, and we've seen that in the year that we've had him. His attitude toward Chapman coming in and just the way he's went about his business -- he cares about winning."

Miller converted 36 of 38 save opportunities last season, posting a 2.08 ERA and earning selection as the winner of the Mariano Rivera Award as the American League's top closer.

Miller is slated to handle the ninth inning again until May 9, when Aroldis Chapman's 30-game suspension will expire. Miller said that he didn't think it would be an issue to pitch through pain.

"We're all fighting something all the time," Miller said. "I think we all have aches and pains and tweaks and issues. Over the course of your career, things start to wear down and you find a way to compensate or work around."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.