Notes: Clevinger's next step; update on Cimber

March 3rd, 2020

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- In just a two-week span, starter progressed from the operating table to beginning a throwing program. Soon, the right-hander will be looking to add more to his plate after undergoing surgery in February to repair a partial meniscus tear in his left knee.

Prior to the Indians' 3-2 loss to the Rangers on Monday at Surprise Stadium, Indians manager Terry Francona said that Clevinger is currently throwing up to 75 feet on flat ground and will be advancing to the mound in the next few days to simulate his windup without a ball.

“Like just working downhill,” Francona said. “Starting to get used to landing downhill. But that would be without a baseball.”

When Clevinger came out of surgery on Feb. 14, he received a six-to-eight week timetable to return to the big league mound, but the right-hander has been hopeful that he’ll be able to heal even earlier. Just days later, he was off of his crutches, and a week after that, he began doing workouts with weighted balls. Then, last Friday, he began his throwing program.

Last year, Clevinger sustained an upper back strain in April and was told he wouldn’t be able to pick up a ball for at least six to eight weeks. But, just 10 weeks later, he was already back on the big league mound. The Indians know how quickly he can heal, and are making sure to keep him on the right track, so that he can be 100 percent healthy as soon as possible.

“I think [the training staff] loves the idea that this kid’s gonna do whatever they ask him to do and at full speed,” Francona said. “I think they’d rather rein somebody in than have to kick him in the [butt] every day.”

Cimber to throw bullpen
Adam Cimber hasn’t pitched since the Indians first Spring Training game on Feb. 24 due to soreness in his side, but Francona said on Monday that the righty is feeling better and was scheduled to throw a light bullpen (approximately 15 pitches) later in the morning. His return to game action is still to be determined.

Worth noting
• In his first game against his former team, Delino DeShields went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored in Monday’s 3-2 loss to the Rangers. He’s gone 4-for-12 (.333) this spring, with two walks.

• After recording a double to left in his first at-bat on Monday, Franmil Reyes has recorded a hit in each of his six games this spring. He’s hitting .500 (7-for-14) with a 1.777 OPS, four doubles, two homers and five RBIs in Spring Training.

• Tyler Freeman, the Indians’ No. 2 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, had a special moment on Monday, playing against his brother, Cody, who was the Rangers’ fourth-round pick last year. Freeman fielded his brother’s ground ball in the seventh inning and the two carried out their team’s respective lineup cards to the plate before the game started.

Up next
After having a minor setback, Carlos Carrasco will make his spring debut on Tuesday against the Angels at Goodyear Ballpark. Carrasco experienced pain in his upper leg while squatting on Feb. 19, and was sent for an MRI that revealed a minor strain in his right hip flexor. After some brief downtime, Carrasco now has just three weeks to build himself up to be ready for the first week of the season. Lefty Andrew Heaney will get the ball for the Angels. First pitch is slated for 3:05 p.m. ET.