ANAHEIM, Calif. — Red Sox relief pitcher Andrew Miller was trying to stay positive on Sunday afternoon, suggesting several times that the injury to his left foot may not be too serious.
“I’m completely optimistic it’s nothing major,” he said.
But Miller was standing in a medical boot at the time, and when he finished speaking to reporters, he limped across the clubhouse before carefully lowering himself into a chair.
The lefthander left Saturday night’s game against the Angels in the seventh inning after an awkward movement on the mound resulted in pain. Miller was placed on the 15-day disabled list and will be examined in Boston on Monday by Dr. George Theodore, a foot specialist.
The initial X-rays taken on Saturday were negative, but the fear is Miller has a Lisfranc injury on the top of his foot. That could involve a bone or ligaments and require 6-8 weeks of recovery.
“That was one of the things mentioned. It could be a smaller one,” Miller said. “Hopefully, it’s not too serious.”
Miller was on crutches before he was fitted for the boot, and could not put any weight on his foot.
“That’s a little worrisome,” he said.
Miller came into the game with a runner on first and one out. After throwing a wild pitch, he allowed a single by J.B. Shuck.
“I watched the ball go into center field after making not a very good pitch,” Miller said. “I tried to redirect my momentum, I guess it was too much . . . I just landed at a funny angle.”
Miller was intending to back up home plate but went only a few feet before collapsing on the grass.
“I planted on my left foot, as I planted and tried to push off I felt it,” he said. “I felt and tried to get up and go again and realized that probably wasn’t the best idea.”
Miller was taken for X-rays during the game, and Dr. Luga Podesta, one of the Angels’ physicians, examined him.
“We don’t know a whole lot right now,” Miller said. “The bones look OK, which is good. We’ll find out more . . . There’s some sort of sprain or strain in there. Hopefully, it’s pretty minimal.”
Miller is third on the team with 37 appearances. Over 30⅔ innings, he has allowed 25 hits while striking out 48.
With Miller joining Franklin Morales on the disabled list, Craig Breslow is now the only lefthander in the bullpen.
“A power lefthander in the bullpen? There’s not too many of those types available to us,” Farrell said. “It’s a loss. But as we’ve addressed every other challenge and change, we’ll find a way to meet the challenge.”
The Red Sox recalled righthander Alfredo Aceves from Triple A Pawtucket on Sunday. But if Miller is going to miss an extended period, the Sox may need to make a trade or two to bolster their bullpen.
The Sox have relied heavily on Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa in late innings. With the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline approaching, Farrell could use another trustworthy arm.
The Sox’ bullpen allowed six runs over four innings on Saturday in a 9-7 loss. The Angels won the game when Josh Hamilton homered off Breslow in the 11th inning.
One team to keep an eye on as a trade partner is the White Sox. Red Sox pitching coach Juan Nieves was Chicago’s bullpen coach for five years and knows their pitchers well.
Righthander Jesse Crain and lefthander Matt Thornton are pitchers who could interest the Sox.
Aceves had an early-morning flight, arrived at Angel Stadium well in advance of Sunday night’s game, and pitched a scoreless two-thirds of an inning in the 3-0 loss.
The righthander is 4-1 with a 4.95 earned run average over 10 appearances for the Sox, six of them starts.
“We all know he’s durable; he’s resilient. We’ll see how that role evolves,” Farrell said.
Aceves gave an interesting answer when asked if he hoped he could stick with the team the rest of the season.
“Man, no, no, no. That’s you. You hope,” he said. “I don’t hope. I don’t hope nothing. You’re the one to hope. But thank you.”
Right fielder Shane Victorino was out of the lineup because of a sore left hamstring, an injury he has been dealing with since mid-May. He left Saturday’s game in the ninth inning. Farrell said Victorino is day to day . . . There is now an outline for Clay Buchholz that would lead to the start of a minor league rehabilitation assignment. He is scheduled to throw in the bullpen twice this week then start a minor league game on Sunday. Buchholz, who has not pitched since June 8 because of a sore shoulder, is expected to need at least two minor league starts. So the earliest he would rejoin the Red Sox is July 24 . . . Backup catcher David Ross, who is on the 60-day disabled list with a concussion, has an appointment in Pittsburgh on Tuesday for a follow-up examination with Dr. Michael Collins, a specialist. Ross has been away from the team while recovering and hopes to be cleared soon to start baseball-type activities . . . Several Red Sox, including former Angels John Lackey and Mike Napoli, joined the Angels in wearing patches to honor the late Dr. Lewis Yocum. The longtime Angels physician and pioneering orthopedic surgeon died in May.