DETROIT – The Indians and their fans were in celebration mode on Monday night following the teams’ clinching of their first American League Central Division Title since 2007, but there was still a huge question regarding their ace pitcher, Corey Kluber.
Kluber exited Monday’s division clinching win after just four innings and 60 pitches, and today Indians manager Terry Francona gave an update on his status.
“He (Kluber) got scanned today at 2 o’clock back in Cleveland, and he’s actually on his way back here now,” Francona said. “He was a little stiff, but not overly tender. That gives us reason to be optimistic.
“We don’t have any of the information back from the scans yet, when we do, guessing it will be early evening tonight, we’ll share the information when it’s available.
“I don’t think it makes any sense to start guessing, but I think the fact he’s not worse today gives us a reason to be optimistic.”
It’s been a steady rash of injuries that have killed the Indians rotation, with Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar both being shelved due to injuries, and know the team has to worry about Kluber.
The rotation looks nothing like what it did when the season started, or even what it was just four weeks ago. With the division clinched the last six games of the regular season still matter, and today Francona announced the rotation for the next few days.
Mike Clevinger will start tonight, and tomorrow will be Zack McAllister. For Thursday’s day game against the Tigers, the Indians will send Ryan Merritt out, and Saturday will be Trevor Bauer.
As far as Friday in Kansas City, that will either be Josh Tomlin or Adam Plutko and whatever pitcher doesn’t pitch Friday will pitch in the finale on Sunday.
Got all that?
All season long the Indians have had to play with the premise of ‘next man up’ with the amount of injuries they have had to deal with. Now it’s reared it’s head again with Kluber on the shelf – but hopefully not long enough to have any impact on the postseason.