Miller 'raring to go' after simulated game

Relief ace could be activated off 10-day disabled list soon

Miller 'raring to go' after simulated game

CLEVELAND -- Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway began shouting in the direction of anyone standing down the first-base line on Monday afternoon. He was issuing a warning. Andrew Miller was about to throw and the batters were swinging, meaning foul balls were imminent.

During a 30-pitch simulated game by Miller, who is getting close to being activated from the disabled list, second baseman Jason Kipnis stood in and fouled off the third pitch he saw from the Tribe's relief ace. Kipnis felt victorious.

"After I fouled one off, I said, 'I've already had a better at-bat than I have ever versus him in a game,'" Kipnis said with a laugh. "He smiled at that one."

Kipnis may move to center field upon return

Miller could be returning to games soon.

The goal of Monday's workout, in which the left-hander faced Erik Gonzalez and Kipnis, was to "get after it as much as possible," according to Callaway. The next step will be to see how Miller's right knee (the culprit behind a pair of DL stints in the second half) responds on Tuesday. Then, Callaway and manager Terry Francona will talk things over with Miller and the team's medical staff to determine the next step.

Miller has a 1.65 ERA with 79 strikeouts against 17 walks in 54 2/3 innings for the Indians, who headed into Monday's game riding a franchise-record 18-game winning streak. During those 18 games, the bullpen had turned in a 1.42 ERA in 50 2/3 innings, and more than picked up the slack with Miller sidelined.

"He's raring to go," Francona said. "What I told him we'd do is visit after he cools down and get his thoughts and see what the next step is. But the fact that he's kind of champing at the bit is really good, because he's pretty level-headed about doing the right thing."

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.