An elbow ligament problem has slowed Adam Miller's pitching career.
By PETE MOLLICA
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
NILES -- Adam Miller likes what he's seen of the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, but that doesn't mean that he's not in a hurry to leave.
Miller, who is making a rehabilitation stint with the Scrappers, is rated as one of the top pitching prospects in the Indians organization and expects to be moving up quickly.
He has aspirations of playing in Jacobs Field in the not-too-distant future.
For now, Miller will settle for being the starting pitcher Tuesday when the Scrappers open their 2005 season against the Jamestown Jammers at 7 p.m. at Eastwood Field.
The Scrappers also will be opening defense of their New York-Penn League championship.
Miller, a 6-foot-4, 195-pound right-hander, was selected 31st by the Indians in the 2003 draft. He was sent to Class A Kinston in the Carolina League where he posted a 3-2 record and a 2.09 ERA with 46 strikeouts and 12 walks in 431/3 innings.
Last season, Miller was ranked by Baseball America as the best pitching prospect in Cleveland's minor league organization and the top prospect in the South Atlantic League.
He worked 91 innings for the Lake County Captains in the Class A league and posted a 3.36 ERA with 106 strikeouts and 28 walks.
He had high expectations coming into spring training this season, but early on he sprained a ligament in his right elbow and has been on the mend ever since.
Which brings him to the Scrappers for a rehab assignment, which, hopefully for him will be a short one.
"Since early in spring training, I've only pitched about three innings because of the injury," Miller said.
"I'll be on a pitch count Tuesday and probably get in about three or four innings," he said.
"I don't plan on being here long, but while I'm here I'm going to do the best job I can and help this team get off to a good start and hopefully another championship," Miller said.
Miller is excited about the Indians organization, especially the emphasis placed on pitching.
"Then again this is the only organization that I've been with, so I don't know much about the others," Miller said.
"I'm really just looking to stay healthy this year and build up some innings here," Miller said. "After that wherever they send me whether it's back to Kinston or up to Akron, I'll be ready to go."
Miller is hoping that a good season in 2005 will land him a spot on the roster at Class AAA Buffalo or maybe even with the major league team by 2006.
"You can't really look too far into the future in this game because just about anything can happen," Miller said. "I plan on just taking it one day at a time."
Miller said that he has been impressed with the Scrappers organization.
"The stadium is excellent and even the town seems pretty nice, something you don't always find in a Class A short season town," Miller said.
But that still doesn't mean that Miller isn't looking to make a fast exit as soon as the time comes.