"I'm going to find out what they do up here, in terms of scouting," Miller said. "I'll chart the games and review it the next day with [Double-A Akron pitching coach Scott] Radinsky. I'll just go through the normal, everyday routine and get used to being up here."
Miller might as well get used to it. Because the way he's progressing through the Minor League system makes it look as though that official roster move will come sooner, rather than later.
Coming off a 2005 season in which his innings were severely limited because of elbow discomfort, Miller rebounded in tremendous fashion this year. He went 15-6 with a 2.75 ERA in 26 games, including 24 starts, for Akron, striking out 157 batters and walking 43. He also made a spot start for Triple-A Buffalo in August.
Most importantly, Miller added a two-seam fastball to his repertoire, which already included a fastball in the upper 90s. It was poison to opposing batters and further established him as one of the more hyped pitching prospects in a deep farm system.
The Indians have a no-brainer on their hands when it comes to deciding whether to add Miller to the 40-man roster after the season. If they don't, they'd expose him to the Rule 5 Draft, where he'd be scooped up in a heartbeat.
Miller, 21, will most likely begin next season at Buffalo. As for whether he thinks he could be pitching for the Indians by the end of '07, he'll leave that up to the higher-ups.
"It's out of my control," he said. "I'm just going to get ready for the season and try to pitch as well as I can."
Bump Grady down?
Seemingly every time Grady Sizemore does something impressive at the plate -- and that's quite often -- manager Eric Wedge hears the questions concerning Sizemore's spot in the lineup.
Sizemore's performance in Sunday's game against the Rangers, in which he hit a two-run homer to the upper deck and legged out his first career inside-the-park homer an inning later, prompted another.
Wedge was asked if Sizemore's outstanding production from the leadoff spot presents an argument for the Indians to seek a more traditional leadoff man this winter, so that Sizemore can move down the order.
"I think it's more of an argument to find somebody to keep him in that leadoff spot," Wedge countered. "You look at what he's doing and how he can give us an early lead, and then there's the old argument that you want to get a guy like that up as much as possible."
What the Indians need, Wedge said, is a deeper lineup -- one in which the hitters at the bottom of the order get on base more to present Sizemore with additional RBI opportunities.
As it stands, Sizemore entered Monday's game with a Major League-high 90 extra-base hits and 74 RBIs. He is just the fourth player in Major League history to hit 50 doubles, 10 triples and 25 homers in the same season and the first to do it since Joe Medwick in 1937. Lou Gehrig (1927) and Chuck Klein (1932) also did it. All three of those players are in the Hall of Fame.
Here's the question:
Sizemore has appeared in 189 straight games, dating back to last August. Only two players in Indians history have appeared in more than 500 consecutive games. Who were they?
Joining Miller in Cleveland this week for the scouting and charting lesson is on-the-rise catching prospect Wyatt Toregas, who's coming off a strong second full professional season.
Toregas began the year at Class A Kinston, where he hit .336 with four homers and 23 RBIs in 44 games before moving up to Akron, where he batted .258 with four homers and 29 RBIs in 48 games.
To further enhance his game, Toregas will spend a couple weeks at the fall instructional league. He'll also play half a season of winter ball and participate in the Indians' winter development program in Cleveland in January.
"I got a little quicker behind the plate, it seemed," Toregas said of his season. "I was able to throw a lot of guys out, and I felt I was calling a lot of good games."
Hector Luna was in the first draft of Monday's lineup, at shortstop.
But several hours before the game, Luna was scratched because of soreness in his oblique.
"He's been battling it a little bit," Wedge said. "We'll see how he's moving around, but he's going to be available to us [to pinch-hit]."
Right-hander Jake Westbrook is one of just three American League pitchers with at least 14 wins in the last three seasons. Johan Santana and Kenny Rogers are the others. Westbrook's 43 wins since 2004 are tied for sixth in the AL. ... Joe Inglett had three multi-hit games in the three-game series with the Rangers. ... Victor Martinez has hit in 11 straight games, batting .400 (16-for-40) with a homer and nine RBIs in that span.
And the answer is:
Joe Sewell (1,103) and Earl Averill (673) are the only two players in Tribe history to appear in 500 straight games.
The Indians will continue the final homestand of the year with Tuesday's 7:05 p.m. ET game against the White Sox at Jacobs Field. Left-hander C.C. Sabathia (11-11, 3.36) will go up against right-hander Javier Vazquez (11-10, 4.66).