CLEVELAND -- The Indians are trying to put their finger on what's going to happen with top pitching prospect Adam Miller.
Miller was placed on the Triple-A Buffalo disabled list on Monday. Indians head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff said Miller has developed two calluses on the middle finger of his right throwing hand. Between those calluses is an area of thin, soft skin, and that area has developed what is called a "fistula." Team hand specialist Dr. Tom Graham is determining whether to seal the hole or surgically repair the pulley system in the finger.
"In essence, it's a hole in the skin," Soloff said of the fistula. "It's a pathway for an unsterile world into a sterile finger."
This has placed Miller's finger at risk of an infection. The Indians had the right-hander visit Graham in Baltimore on Tuesday to have the skin evaluated.
Miller suffered a pulley strain on the same finger last season, and it cost him six weeks of action from mid-May to late June. Soloff said the calluses developed as a result of the strain. Graham will determine if the best course of action is to close the hole in the skin or surgically repair the pulley system.
Soloff said he could not speculate how much time Miller would miss in either scenario, though it's safe to assume surgery would lead to a more lengthy absence. Soloff said he'd have another update for reporters Wednesday.
Miller is 0-1 with a 1.88 ERA in six starts for Buffalo this year.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.