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.