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Tribe Notes

Indians Notes: Right-hander Mike Clevinger back on injured list with sprained ankle

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    A member of the Indians staff checks on starting pitcher Mike Clevinger, who sprained his ankle after throwing a pitch Monday in Arlington, Texas. He was placed on the 10-day injured list Friday.

    AP

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CLEVELAND — Right-hander Mike Clevinger is back in a familiar place — the injured list.

Clevinger was placed on the 10-day IL prior to Friday’s series opener against Detroit with a left ankle sprain. He was injured in his first start following a two-plus-month stint on the IL with an upper-back strain.

Clevinger and the Indians believe he will be ready to take the mound again when the 10 days are complete.

“He felt like if he had to pitch like that he wouldn’t have been real comfortable,” manager Terry Francona said of Clevinger, who sustained the injury Monday in Texas. “So (pitching coach) Carl (Willis) and I were sitting there thinking, ‘We just got a guy off an injury and we’re going to put him in a potentially precarious spot.’ That didn’t make much sense. If he would go out there and hurt his arm because he was favoring his ankle or something, that would be terrible.”

To fill Clevinger’s roster spot, the Indians recalled right-hander Josh Smith from Triple-A Columbus. Right-hander Adam Civale will be promoted from Columbus to take Clevinger’s spot in the rotation today and will make his major league debut.

Civale, 24, was a third-round draft pick in 2016. He opened the year at Double-A Akron after rehabbing a right lat strain and went 5-0 with a 2.85 ERA in seven starts for Akron and Columbus.

He will join right-hander Zach Plesac, who also made his big league debut this year and remains in the rotation after pitching well over five starts.

“I know that we’re meeting new kids pretty rapidly,” Francona said. “They come with good reputations. He doesn’t have a lot of Triple-A experience, like Plesac. It doesn’t mean he can’t help us win.

“One of the biggest things we, as a group, try to figure out is does a spot start help or hinder somebody’s development. And we ask the player development people, because they’re the ones that know.”

Civale, Plesac (12th round) and right-hander Shane Bieber (fourth round) were all chosen by the Indians in the 2016 draft.

Medical moments

  • Right-hander Corey Kluber (right forearm fracture) will undergo his eight-week evaluation next week. It will determine whether he can begin throwing.Francona said Kluber has been doing everything the injury allows, including squatting with a weighted exercise ball 120-150 times daily.
    “That can’t be fun,” Francona said. “But he wants to be ready the minute he can be ready.”
  • Right-hander Dan Otero (right shoulder inflammation) has been shut down after a setback during a throwing session in Texas this week.
  • Outfielder Bradley Zimmer (right shoulder rehab) has begun taking live batting practice in Goodyear, Ariz., but won’t start throwing for a couple of days, according to Francona.
  • Right-hander Danny Salazar (right shoulder rehab) has thrown a pair of two-inning simulated games in Goodyear. The next step will be an actual extended spring training appearance.

Ballot box

The first round of All-Star voting concluded Friday, with the top three players at each position and nine outfielders from each league advancing to a final vote -- Wednesday at noon through Thursday at 4 p.m. -- to determine the starters.

First baseman Carlos Santana was among the top three, but shortstop Francisco Lindor was not. Santana stood third in the most recent voting results released earlier in the week, while Lindor was fifth.

The starting lineups will be announced Thursday at 7 p.m. on ESPN, with pitchers and reserves unveiled June 30.

Closer Brad Hand, who entered Friday with an 0.86 ERA over 32 appearances and tied for second in the AL with 20 saves, is expected to be among them.

“I think it’s safe to say if Brad’s not an All-Star, there’s probably not one out there,” Francona said.

Lindor, who will serve as an All-Star ambassador, could still make the team as a reserve for his fourth straight All-Star Game appearance.

Hot bats

The Indians entered Friday with 10 wins over their last 15 games — five in their last seven — thanks in large part to an improved offense.

Over the span, Cleveland averaged six runs per game, ranking third in the AL and fifth in the majors. The Indians’ .516 slugging percentage, .846 OPS and 32 home runs ranked second in the majors.

“Every night we hit, I make sure I say something to Van Bo and Victor,” Francona said of hitting coaches Ty Van Burkleo and Victor Rodriguez. “I know that their work is no different that day, but I’m glad for them because the hours they put in and the sweat. They just live and die with those guys when they’re hitting. We had a rough go of it for a while there. So I just make sure I always say something to them because I do appreciate their work.”

Minor details

Bobby Bradley hit a pair of homers in Columbus’ 5-4 win over Rochester on Thursday. He entered Friday leading the International League with 24 homers and a .646 slugging percentage, while ranking second with 55 RBIs in 66 games.

Roundin’ third

Oscar Mercado is one of only 13 players in franchise history to have at least 36 hits over the first 30 games of their career. His 26 runs through Thursday are the most by a Cleveland rookie over the span since Hall of Famer Lou Boudreau’s 27 in 1938-39.

... Carlos Santana, who homered in the first inning Friday, has reached base in 35 of his last 36 games.

... Four-time UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic threw out a ceremonial first pitch.

... Saturday, 4:10 p.m., FS1; WEOL 930-AM, WTAM 1100-AM, WMMS 100.7-FM. Civale (MLB debut) vs. Spencer Turnbull (3-6, 3.27).  

Contact Chris Assenheimer at 329-7136 or cassenheimer@chroniclet.com. Like him on Facebook and follow him @CAwesomeheimer on Twitter.


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