CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Maybe Indians manager Terry Francona had to laugh to keep from crying.
“I think we’ve all, everyone in here probably at some point or another, had a drone-related problem,” Francona joked to begin Friday’s pregame press conference.
But Cleveland’s starting pitching injuries have been no laughing matter this year. And they just keep getting weirder.
The Indians’ scheduled Game 2 starter in the American League Championship Series, Trevor Bauer, suffered a laceration to his right pinky finger, a mishap which required 10 stitches, the team announced on Friday afternoon.
The injury happened as a result of a drone-related accident on Thursday night, which cut the outside of Bauer’s finger.
Francona learned of the odd injury after getting out of the shower on Friday morning.
“My phone was blowing up,” Francona said. “Chris [Antonetti] was like, ‘Call me.’ You could have given me a lot of guesses [about what it was about]. I wouldn’t have probably got this one.”
As a result, the right-handed hurler will be pushed back to Monday’s Game 3 in the best-of-seven series against the Toronto Blue Jays. Josh Tomlin, meanwhile, will be bumped up to start Game 2 on Saturday at Progressive Field.
Despite the unexpected injury, the Indians are still confident that Bauer, who actually managed to throw on Friday prior to Game 1 of the ALCS, will be able to start Monday’s game at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.
“We’re fortunate that Dr. [Thomas] Graham is actually here in Cleveland, and he’s one of the best in probably the world,” Francona said. “He’s really confident that by the time [Bauer’s] turn comes around, he’ll be OK.”
Unexpected? Of course. Ideal? Hardly.
But Francona indicated there was no anger or disappointment directed at Bauer because of the accident.
“He wasn’t doing something [dangerous],” he said. “He could have been opening a box in the kitchen. Things happen. I wish it wouldn’t have, but… it wasn’t done by being silly.”
Cleveland is already without starters Danny Salazar (forearm strain) and Carlos Carrasco (hand fracture) due to injuries suffered at the end of the regular season.
Tomlin believes this is just one more hurdle the Indians will have to clear this season.
“We’ve talked about it since day one of Spring Training,” Tomlin said. “We’re never going to back down from a challenge. This is another challenge for us to accept and move forward. The next guy that comes up has to step up and do their part.”
The ALCS between the Indians and Blue Jays begins Friday night at Progressive Field. Corey Kluber will start for the Indians in Game 1 against Toronto.