Tribe Notes: Clevinger to make rehab start, Rodriguez placed on injured list

The Indians continue to have injury issues

James Rapien
June 04, 2019 - 5:06 pm

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Mike Clevinger wasn't expected to pick up a baseball for 6-8 weeks when he suffered a Teres major muscle strain in his upper back on Sunday, April 7. Not only has he exceeded those expectations, but he will start for Triple-A Columbus on Thursday. 

Clevinger, 28, threw a bullpen session on Tuesday afternoon. He's throwing 97 mph consistently, which matches what he was doing in his first two starts this season. He didn't allow a run in either appearance and was as dominant as any Indians' pitcher has been this season. 

When could Clevinger return to the Indians' rotation?

"We have an obligation even when it’s not convenient to do the right thing," manager Terry Francona said. "He’ll be a part of that discussion, also. We want to make sure he’s okay though and not just throwing hard for two innings. We want to make sure he’s okay. We have an obligation to look out for these guys."

Francona had a smile on his face when he was asked about Clevinger. He wasn't expected to be back this soon. There was plenty of speculation that he could be out until after the All-Star break. He's passed every test, avoided setbacks and could be back on the mound at Progressive Field in the near future. 

Rodriguez placed on Injured List – Jefry Rodriguez was placed on the 10-day injured list retroactive to June 2 with a shoulder strain. He suffered the injury in Saturday's win over Chicago. 

"Most likely down from throwing for at least a couple of weeks and then he’ll be re-evaluated," said Francona. "For the foreseeable future, he’ll be in the training room getting treatment and things like that. But there will be no throwing for a couple weeks."

Rodriguez has made eight starts for the Indians this season, posting a 4.74 ERA. The Indians acquired him in the Yan Gomes trade with Washington last November. 

The Indiansvneed a starter for Saturday's game against New York. They're working through their options and haven't made a a decision on who will be on the mound. 

Outfielder Tyler Naquin was activated from the 10-day injured list. He suffered a calf injury on May 11 against Oakland. He has a .278 batting average with 10 RBI on the season. 

Bad Luck Brad – Bradley Zimmer was expected to join the Clippers in his quest to return from shoulder surgery. Instead, the outfielder is stuck in Arizona. He felt some pain in his shoulder, which was enough to keep the Indians from sending him to Triple-A Columbus to begin his rehab assignment. 

"His last day in Arizona he felt it throwing a little bit, in his shoulder," Francona said. "Rather than start his clock in Columbus, we decided to hold off. Hopefully it’s only for a couple of days. But we just didn’t want to get him started in games, like we said, start the rehab clock, until we know he’s full-go.

"I don’t think this is anything serious, but like I said, I think they want to make sure that once we turn him loose, we can turn him loose."

Zimmer has a career .237 batting average with 10 home runs and 48 RBI in 405 plate appearances. He's expected to be in the outfield mix once he's fully healthy.