Andrew Miller will make his debut in a Cleveland uniform on Monday night, when the Indians host the Minnesota Twins in the first game of a four-game series.
Miller was acquired Sunday in a five-player trade with the New York Yankees. The Indians sent four minor league prospects to New York, including outfielder Clint Frazier, the Indians' first round pick in the 2013 draft.
The first order of business when Miller arrives will be for manager Terry Francona to decide how he is going to use him. Indians closer Cody Allen has 20 saves this year and 78 saves over the last three years.
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But Miller is an all-star reliever. He had 36 saves with the Yankees last year, though that's the only year in his 11 year career that he has been used as a closer. Miller has mostly been a setup man, which is what he was with the Yankees this year, pitching mostly in the eighth inning.
Francona said he will sit down with Allen and Miller on Monday and decide how the back of the bullpen will be configured.
"Andrew Miller is one of the elite relievers in baseball, and it gives us guys who pitch at the end of the game who are interchangeable," Francona said. "Over the last two months this should give us a much better chance to win games."
Miller fills a major hole in the Indians' bullpen. Not only is he good, but he's left-handed. The Indians have gone most of this season without a left-hander in their bullpen. Now they have arguably the best left-handed reliever in the game.
"I'm not sure there is a better fit for our bullpen than Andrew," said Indians President of Baseball Operations Chris Antonetti.
Whether Miller makes his debut on the mound for the Indians Monday depends in large part on how well Danny Salazar pitches. Salazar (11-3, 2.97) will start for the Indians against the Twins. Salazar ranks fourth in the American League in ERA. In eight career appearances vs. Minnesota Salazar is 3-2 with a 3.63 ERA.
Tyler Duffey (5-8, 6.12) is scheduled to start for the Twins, but that is subject to change. The Twins have announced that they will recall right-hander Jose Berrios from Triple-A Rochester on Monday. Berrios, who was 1-1 with a 10.20 ERA in four starts with the Twins earlier this season, could get the start in place of Duffey.
"He (Berrios) is not coming to watch and be a spectator," Twins manager Paul Molitor told MLB.com.
In 16 starts at Rochester Berrios was 10-5 with a 2.44 ERA.
"There's some feeling that it's time to get him up here. . . that this would be a good thing for him to get back up here and see how he reacts," Molitor said.
The Indians come into the Minnesota series having just swept a three-game series with Oakland. Cleveland went 12-12 in the month of July after their blistering 22-6 June, which included a 14-game winning streak.
The Twins went 15-11 in July, their first winning month of the season. They are 5-4 vs. Cleveland this year.