Miller Time: Pitcher’s Return from IL on Draft Against Bucs originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
PITTSBURGH – A Cubs bullpen that has suffered some significant injuries in the past two weeks is getting one back this week. Right-handed Shelby Miller returns from a lower back injury, possibly in time for Wednesday night’s game in Pittsburgh.
“I’m designed to reach as many as they need and also get one here and there when I have to,” said Miller, who went through the back edition during a rough stretch of three appearances after going to who had come to Bullpen in mid-April, before being put on the list of injured for the past four weeks.
“I feel really good. Really good.”
Miller, who joined the Pittsburgh team on Tuesday after three minor league rehab starts for Triple-A Iowa (1.74 ERA), threw four innings in his last rehab start on Friday and allowed a homer with two runs the only earned runs in the three rehab games.
That was the same day the Cubs lost left-handed Justin Steele to a hamstring injury just five days after Alec Mills landed on the IL from a back strain – two key multi-inning aids to the majors’ top performing bullpen Season.
It’s also Wednesday’s fifth day since his last start, making him potentially important insurance against another brief start from struggling Trevor Williams on Wednesday night.
Miller, a 2015 All-Star who has since struggled with injuries and retired from the 2020 season due to COVID-19, was one of the Cubs’ top pitchers in spring training before scooping five hits and five runs Batters passed the first 12, whom he faced on his first two outings in April.
Miller downplayed the impact of back pain on the results.
“I had had it a little bit in spring practice and it popped up and flared up a little these couple of weeks and obviously we made the decision to go to the IL,” he said. “I don’t think it was a big factor in the way I played, but it was probably just a better decision for the team at the moment.”
If he stays healthy and looks like he did in spring training, Miller could be an important part of the Cubs’ pitching depth and versatility going forward.
“I’m ready to go,” he said.
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