Two of Cleveland's top prospects have undergone surgeries. For catcher Carlos Santana, recovery is a certainty. For pitcher Adam Miller, time may have run out.
Santana, who had an outside shot of making Cleveland's opening-day roster, will be sidelined for 2 1/2 months after having an operation on his right hand. The Indians said Santana had his right hamate bone removed by Dr. Tom Graham at the Curtis National Hand Center in Baltimore, Md.
The switch-hitting Santana, who was named the Eastern League's MVP, experienced soreness during winter ball. He already had been sidelined with the flu, and when he came back he was bothered by pain in his hand, Indians trainer Lonnie Soloff said.
Santana will need up to 10 weeks of rehabilitation. He was expected to start the year at Triple-A Columbus, but after the recent trade of catcher Kelly Shoppach, Santana had a chance to break camp with the Indians. Soloff said Santana could be behind at the start of spring training.
Miller needed further surgery on his right index finger after suffering a setback while throwing at the club's training facility in Goodyear, Ariz.
It's more bad news for the hard-throwing 25-year-old, who was once considered the best pitching prospect in Cleveland's organization.
Miller has had several surgeries on the finger, which began bothering him during the 2008 season at Triple-A Buffalo. The Indians have gone to extremes to keep him pitching, even altering his release point in hopes it would allow him to get back some velocity on a fastball routinely clocked in the upper 90s.
But while he was throwing in Arizona last month, Miller had more soreness and Soloff said surgery was performed by Graham on Nov. 18. Miller is home in Texas working with a hand therapist.
Soloff said the concern that Miller's career could be over was ``not off base.''