Cleveland Indians at Texas Rangers
When and Where: Monday, June 17, Globe Life Park at Arlington, Texas, 8:05 p.m. EDT.
The injury-riddled Cleveland Indians finally get a piece of their starting rotation back as Mike Clevinger gets the ball for Monday night’s series opener versus the Texas Rangers.
Clevinger looks to bring stability, quality to Tribe rotation
Clevinger (1-0, 0.00 ERA) has made just two starts this season, with the last coming April 7 when he strained his upper back.
The right-hander, who won a combined 25 games in 2017-18, is returning to the Indians ahead of schedule after it was originally estimated it would be 6-to-8 weeks before he could catch a baseball. Clevinger was sharp in his second rehab outing with Double-A Erie on Tuesday, scattering three hits in 5 1-3 shutout innings while hitting the mid-90s with his fastball.
Mike Clevinger is rejoining the Indians' rotation sooner than expected.
He's set to start Monday vs Texas.
— AP Sports (@AP_Sports) June 13, 2019
“Last night was really good,” Indians manager Terry Francona told The Associated Press on Wednesday. “Will he be able to command all his pitches the way he did with six weeks in spring training with a couple starts? I don’t know. You hope. But we’ll keep an eye on him and try to build him up in a way that he can stay healthy and be healthy and productive, but sure is exciting to see what he’s doing.”
“I was trying to come back and throw the next day,” Clevinger said. “I asked them every day even though I knew the timeline. I was like, ‘I feel good, can I throw today?’ I asked them every day to the point they that they were just getting (mad) at me for asking.
“I just saw the timeline and I was like, if anything, I want to be back before the All-Star break. I always had that in my mind, that I wanted to be back before then.”
Clevinger is 0-1 with a 2.79 ERA in three career starts versus Texas, striking out 23 in 19 1-3 innings while holding opponents to a .191 batting average. The Indians have not given the righty much to work with in terms of run support, totaling one run in those games.
He took a loss in the most recent matchup, giving up two runs and four hits in 6 2-3 innings of a 5-0 road defeat July 22. Clevinger, though, has dominated Elvis Andrus, striking out the Rangers shortstop four times while holding him hitless in seven at-bats.
Clevleland is coming off a three-game sweep of Detroit in which it racked up 25 runs and 40 hits following Sunday’s 8-0 romp. Rookie center fielder Oscar Mercado drove in a season-high four runs and went 7 for 15 in the three wins.
Trade rumors picking up around Lynn
Though the Rangers are five games over .500 and in the AL wild-card hunt, that has not stopped Lance Lynn‘s name from being talked about in trade rumors.
Lance Lynn 57 strikeouts and 8 walks in last 48.1 innings, added 50% more cutters, whiff rate through the roof on the cutter, maybe he finally has something other than good fastball command. Survived tough Boston start…
— Eno Sarris (@enosarris) June 13, 2019
Lynn (7-4, 4.40) has recorded quality starts in his last seven outings and is looking for his fourth win in five decisions. He has not recorded decisions in his last two starts after yielding three runs and six hits in six innings of a 4-3 loss at Boston on Wednesday.
“It’s a little frustrating because you get a two-run lead and you let them one at a time trickle away,” Lynn told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “Benintendi is the guy that got me the most. I made a couple pitches in I didn’t hate, and he just put good swings on them.”
Lynn has won both his career starts versus Cleveland, one in 2015 and most recently last year. He limited the Indians to one run ands two hits in six innings of a 7-1 victory June 2, 2018, while pitching for Minnesota.
Texas was thwarted in its bid for a three-game sweep at Cincinnati on Sunday, losing 11-3. The Rangers, though, have won four of their last six series while splitting the other two.
The Indians are:
- 2-8 in Clevinger’s last 10 starts vs. above-.500 teams.
- 1-7 in Clevinger’s last eight games vs. AL West teams.
- 4-9 in Clevinger’s last 13 road starts.
The Rangers are:
- 5-1 in Lynn’s last six home starts.
- 14-5 in their last 19 home games.
- 13-6 in their last 19 games vs. right-handed starters.