CLEVELAND, Ohio — Shortstop Francisco Lindor says it’s time to turn the page and start writing a new chapter on the Mike Clevinger and Zach Plesac story. One that, hopefully, does not include any unapproved trips into the Chicago night.
Clevinger will be the Indians starting pitcher Wednesday night against Minnesota’s Jose Berrios at 7:10 p.m. at Progressive Field in the finale of the three game series. Plesac is still on option to the team’s secondary training site at Classic Park in Eastlake.
“Turn the page, turn the page,” said Lindor on Tuesday night after a 4-2 win over the Twins. “This is a book with a lot of chapters and a lot of pages in it. This is one of those college books. This is not a middle school book.”
Clevinger and Plesac violated team and MLB coronavirus protocols when they left the team hotel on Aug. 8 in Chicago. They endangered the health of their teammates and the rest of the team’s traveling party.
They were quarantined for 72 hours, placed on the restricted list and finally optioned to Classic Park. Now the organization is saying it’s time to forgive and forget. Chris Antonetti, president of baseball operations, and acting manager Sandy Alomar talked about the move before Tuesday’s game. After the game LIndor and Shane Bieber, critical of Clevinger and Plesac in the days following the incident, said it was time to move on.
“It’s always turn the page. We are on to the next chapter of the book,” said Lindor. “Leave my guys alone. It is what it is. Everything’s in the past, just focus on the future. Just focus on doing things the right way and let’s focus on the things that actually matter with all the things that are happening in society. That’s extremely important, extremely huge. We have a lot of people out there that are suffering. Just turn the page and let us focus on the big things in life, for sure.”
Bieber, who pitched six innings Tuesday to improve to 6-0, felt the same as Lindor.
“No doubt,” said Bieber. “It’s been time consuming to say that least. But I feel like we’ve managed it well as a team in the clubhouse, as individuals and at this point, it’s time to move on. We all have a job to do and that job is to go out and win and Clev and Plesac are some of the best at their job and we need them to win, as well. I think we’re all excited to kind of move on as a team and get that going.”
Alomar said the players were informed after Tuesday’s win that Clevinger would be starting Wednesday night.
“It’s up to the players to welcome Clev,” said Alomar. “We’ve had too many meetings about what happened. It’s time to start healing and move forward. I think the players are understanding of the situation. At the end of the day, it’s one your teammates. He made a mistake. Actually two guys. But, it’s time to move on and start with the healing process.”
There is plenty of speculation that Clevinger’s start could be to showcase him for Monday’s trading deadline. The Indians, at the moment, are overflowing with staring pitching. They have Bieber, Clevinger, Carlos Carrasco, Aaron Civale and Adam Plutko, Clevinger’s replacement when he was optioned. Prospect Tristan McKenzie made his big-league debut Saturday night against the Tigers and struck out 10 and allowed one run in six innings. The performance earned him a second start Friday night at Busch Stadium against the Cardinals.
The Indians, besides Plesac, have rotation candidates at Classic Park in Sam Hentges, Logan Allen and Scott Moss.
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