CLEVELAND — The Indians have big shoes to fill with starter Mike Clevinger sidelined until likely late June or July. The solution, because of so many moving parts and a few injuries, isn't a simple one.
The Indians turned to Jefry Rodriguez to make Clevinger's scheduled start on April 13 against the Kansas City Royals, with the caveat that they'd reassess afterward. Rodriguez did enough to garner another start, so he'll take the mound for Wednesday's game against the Miami Marlins and pitcher Sandy Alcantara, manager Terry Francona announced on Tuesday.
Rodriguez, who was acquired from the Washington Nationals along with outfielder Daniel Johnson in the Yan Gomes trade this offseason, allowed two runs on five hits with three strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings in his first outing against the Royals. He had been struggling at Triple-A, but exceeded expectations once getting the promotion to the big leagues.
“I mean, he threw strikes," Francona said. "You know, I think the concern was he had been spotty even in his Triple-A starts. There was one good one, OK? But he really wasn’t afraid to attack the strike zone. I thought he did a really good job.”
Adam Plutko likely would have garnered the promotion to replace Clevinger at least temporarily, but he has been dealing with a forearm strain. Multiple off days have allowed the Indians to go without a fifth starter until now.
Ryan Lewis can be reached at email@example.com. Read the Indians blog at www.ohio.com/indians. Follow him on Twitter at @ByRyanLewis.