While Lindor and Santana are key pieces for this Indians team, the only presence in the Classic that is causing some stress is that of Miller. A pitcher’s workload is under so much scrutiny throughout an MLB season, especially when a team is expected to fight for a World Series title.
So knowing that one of the team’s best pitchers will be in a competitive tournament in March may be worrisome for some fans, but there is no need to worry.
Miller’s action in the Classic will involve competitive games, but it is not anywhere near the levels seen in the MLB postseason. Also, there are countless MLB players in the tournament who know not to push themselves to the brink for this tournament.
This game action simply replaces the work Miller would get in regular spring training games, while giving him great mental preparation for the season.
The lasting image of Miller is him coming in for multiple innings of work in last year’s postseason, but that just won’t happen in the World Baseball Classic. While the event aims to be a World Cup of baseball, it is just not at that level. The players are more focused on the upcoming MLB season more than anything else.
So while Miller will get some early work during the event, fans should not worry about any extra workload being taken on in March. If anything, he will be ahead of his fellow Indians relievers in terms of preparation for the season after facing talent from all around the world.