CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – In the wake of the season-ending injury suffered by Carlos Carrasco on Saturday night, the Cleveland Indians were forced to adjust their starting rotation for next week’s slate of games.
Josh Tomlin (12-8, 4.75) will get another opportunity to build on his last outing, getting the ball in Tuesday’s series opener against the Kansas City Royals at Progressive Field.
After Corey Kluber (17-9, 3.12) starts Wednesday for Cleveland, Mike Clevinger (2-2, 4.76) will pitch in Thursday’s series finale.
“At one point, Clev was going to get nine days off,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “We didn’t want that. This balances it a little bit better.”
After throwing over 80 pitches in his last start, Clevinger should be able to extend to approximately 100 pitches if need be in Tuesday’s outing.
“I thought it would be a little bit of a struggle, bouncing back and forth,” Clevinger said of transitioning back to starting from the bullpen. “But lengthening out, I feel like I just got a little break for my arm. It feels fresh again.”
From there, things get a bit murky as the Indians look ahead to their weekend series against the Chicago White Sox at home. With Carrasco now done for the season due to the fracture in his right hand, Cleveland will start Cody Anderson in a bullpen anchored day on Saturday at Progressive Field.
However, Anderson, who has recently been pitching in relief, is not expected to go very deep in the contest.
“After that, we’ll just kind of see,” Francona said. “We don’t need to get too far ahead. I think the pitchers need to know to prepare for their turn coming through, but other than that, we’ll just kind of go and see where we’re at.”
Plutko watch: Prior to Sunday’s game, the team prepared a locker for Minor League right-handed pitcher Adam Plutko, but Plutko had still not arrived in Cleveland for Sunday’s game.
The 24-year-old hurler, who spent time between Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus this season, wrapped up the 2016 Minor League campaign by posting a 4.10 ERA in 90 innings with the Clippers.
Meanwhile, the space below his nameplate already belonged to rookie reliever Perci Garner, meaning the two young hurlers will be forced to share the locker for the rest of the season.
The new roommates became the first locker tandem since Corey Kluber was called up in the final month of the 2011 season and shared a space with outfielder Jerad Head.
“It was only for a couple days, but it wasn’t too bad,” Kluber joked. “You can make it work. It’s better than not being here and not having to share a locker.”
Plutko is not currently on the 40-man roster, so a corresponding move will need to be made to officially add him to the roster next week.
“If he’s been throwing a little bit [since the Triple-A season ended], we might have a sim game tomorrow,” Francona said. “If not, we’ll just let him come in and play catch and start to let him get [acclimated].
“With a week off, that’s not a big deal, but I don’t think you want to throw a guy into a game like that, either, without doing some throwing.”