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Mike Clevinger to Have Surgery on Torn Meniscus

Pitcher Mike Clevinger throwing a pitch

The Indians pitching rotation took a hit when Trevor Bauer was traded midway through last season. It took an even bigger hit when Corey Kluber was traded to Texas earlier this offseason. Earlier this morning, Zack Meisel reported yet another crippling blow to the Tribe’s starting staff. 

Mike Clevinger is without a doubt Cleveland’s number one guy in the rotation. Even after the departures of both Bauer and Kluber, the Indians still have fantastic starting pitching. Clevinger, Carlos Carrasco, and Shane Bieber are all set to return for 2020. In addition, guys like Adam Plutko, Aaron Civale, and Zach Plesac provide the team with plenty of young, but high-quality, depth. FanGraphs pegged the Indians as the fifth-best rotation in baseball last season, and Bleacher Report slates them to be the league’s eighth-best staff this season. 

Clevinger led the AL in FIP last year with a mark of 2.49. He did, however, miss about two months last season with a strained upper back. Despite the injury, he managed to start 21 games to the tune of a 2.71 ERA. “Sunshine” racked up 169 strikeouts in the process and won AL Pitcher of the Month in August. Clevinger picked up popularity earlier in the offseason with his take on the Houston Astros cheating scandal.

The Indians have said that a timetable for Clevinger’s return is still unknown. Bob Nightengale of USA Today, however, says that he will be unavailable for the start of the season. 

Cleveland opens the season at home on March 26th against the Detroit Tigers. The Indians have plenty of questions offensively, so relying on their pitching rotation will be a must for them this season. The more time Clevinger misses, the more they may have to bank on their offense. That’s not exactly a good thing. 

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