CLEVELAND: Jose Ramirez and the Indians on Tuesday addressed and denied, in one way or another, rumors that Ramirez was about to be suspended 80 games for failing a test for performance-enhancing drugs.

The rumor, which stemmed from a blogspot site titled WIKIRD that appears to report on stories out of the Dominican Republic, stated in Spanish that Ramirez failed a test and would soon be suspended. A few hours after the rumor began, the Indians reached out to Major League Baseball and confirmed that there was no such failed test.

“I can share with you that there’s nothing to those rumors, and in fact, we’ve confirmed with Major League Baseball that that’s the case,” said Chris Antonetti, Indians president of baseball operations. “So, it’s an unsubstantiated report with no truth to it.”

Ramirez, a few hours prior to the Indians confirming that there was nothing to any of it, simply tweeted “FAKE NEWS” from his account. He also met with the club — including Antonetti and manager Terry Francona — and denied knowing anything about a supposed failed test.

“We talked to Jose. He said, ‘I have no idea what they’re talking about. I’ve worked really hard to try and become the player that I am, and there’s nothing to it,’ ” Antonetti said. “We believed Jose when he told us that. And it was helpful to get the additional confirmation from Major League Baseball.”

Francona added that Ramirez “got a big kick” out of all of it.

“I’m sure at some point I’d like to find out why this happened, things like that,” Francona said. “But, those things happen. I feel bad for Jose because he has to deal with it. But he actually seems fine.”

Entering Tuesday’s game, Ramirez held a .291/.387/.598 slash line with 15 home runs, 16 doubles and 37 RBI this season. His wRC+ of 164 was seventh in baseball among qualified hitters, and his 3.5 fWAR was the third-best mark in the game.

Shuffling pitchers

The Indians’ plan to give prospect Shane Bieber a spot start on Thursday has had some additional implications on the roster.

Because of Bieber’s start on Thursday and off days on both May 4 and 7, the Indians won’t need a fifth starter until June 12 against the Chicago White Sox. In light of that, the Indians on Tuesday selected the contract of left-handed reliever Jeff Beliveau and optioned Adam Plutko to Triple-A.

Plutko wouldn’t have had a start in the majors until that June 12 date, and they’d like to keep him on his regular schedule.

“We had talked a little bit about maybe putting Adam in the bullpen for a week,” Francona said. “We just thought there’s more value keeping him on his schedule. We need a fifth starter on the 12th. If he goes down and makes a start in 5-6 days, it’ll put him right in line — maybe a day off — as opposed to taking a young kid who hasn’t done it, putting him in the bullpen, not knowing how much or when [he’ll pitch].”

Plutko was roughed up a bit in his most recent start, but Francona stated that the move wasn’t in response to that outing. In three starts, Plutko has posted a 3.93 ERA with 12 strikeouts in 18⅓ innings.

Ryan Lewis can be reached at rlewis@thebeaconjournal.com. Read the Indians blog at www.ohio.com/indians. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/RyanLewisABJ.