Clevinger expects to make next start, will be re-evaluated Monday

The 28-year-old left Sunday's game with back tightness

James Rapien
April 07, 2019 - 5:04 pm

Cleveland, OH (92.3 The Fan) – Indians starter Mike Clevinger expects to make his next start even though he left Sunday's win over Toronto early with upper back tightness.

The 28-year-old was disappointed he could finish what he started against the Blue Jays. Clevinger compiled 12 strikeouts in five innings of work, allowing one hit and picking up his first win of 2019. 

"Everything was working today," Clevinger said. "That was why it was so hard for me to accept it because I was rolling. I didn't want to leave that mound at the time, but it was the right call."

Clevinger is off to a scorching start. He has 22 strikeouts and hasn't allowed a run in 12 innings. He doesn't think the back issue is serious. 

"I think it's more precautionary than anything," Clevinger said. "My back was getting tight and I didn't want to pull on any part of my arm and the stuff that matters."

Clevinger is convinced he'll be able to make his next start.

"I will," he said with a smile. "That was why I had to come out early just to make sure I'm out there next week." 

He was throwing the ball as well as we've seen him throw it. His fast ball hit 97 mph or higher eight times on Sunday. 

"The hope is it's an overreaction on our part," manager Terry Francona said. "There's some real positive signs. He tested out really well. He was still throwing the ball great so we'll hope for the best."

Clevinger has been everything the Indians could've hoped for in two starts. He got into some trouble in the fourth inning when he walked Socrates Brito and gave up a double to Freddy Galvis. He responded with three-straight strikeouts.

"He had to pitch out of some traffic and he did," Francona said. "My goodness, when you have your back against the wall and our pitchers have all seem to have done that – they execute their best pitches – that's a very good trait to have."

Clevinger is scheduled to start on April 14 against Kansas City.