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Notes: Plutko debuts; Franimal hot

@JesseSanchezMLB
February 26, 2020

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Indians starter Adam Plutko spent the offseason fine-tuning his curveball and he was able to deliver the pitch with success during his Cactus League debut Wednesday against the Padres. Of the 18 pitches he threw in his two scoreless innings, four were curveballs. He allowed one hit

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Indians starter Adam Plutko spent the offseason fine-tuning his curveball and he was able to deliver the pitch with success during his Cactus League debut Wednesday against the Padres.

Of the 18 pitches he threw in his two scoreless innings, four were curveballs. He allowed one hit in the brief outing, which the Indians ultimately dropped 8-0.

“What I was trying to correct was some of that hard snap to the pitch,” Plutko said. “I felt like overall today, it was pretty hard-snapping. I’m not going for a 12-6 curveball. I’m going more towards sweeping across the zone. I was pretty happy with it overall.”

Plutko’s curveball was already an effective weapon. According to Statcast, hitters managed only a .191 batting average against the pitch and the spin rate on it put him in the 93rd percentile. He used his curveball only 10.6% of the time last year, his least-used pitch.

Franmil on fire

Franmil Reyes received a nice ovation from the crowd at Peoria Stadium when he stepped into the box against former Padres teammates in the second inning.

He proceeded to smash the first pitch he saw from good friend Chris Paddack down the line in left for a double, his third double of Cactus League play. Reyes finished 1-for-2. All four of his hits this spring have been for extra bases.

“Two days after I got to Arizona I came to the [Padres'] complex to say hello and the first person I saw was Paddack, and he told me he was pitching the first game against the Indians," said Reyes. "I told him to be ready because I was going to be ready. I reminded him when he was warming up today.”

Worth noting

James Karinchak, the club’s No. 21 prospect per MLB Pipeline, struck out all three batters he faced -- Franchy Cordero, Abraham Almonte and Fernando Tatis Jr. -- in the fifth inning. He has retired all six batters he has faced in his two Cactus League appearances.

Karinchak, who struck out 74 batters in 30 1/3 innings across three Minor League levels last season, is competing for a spot in the bullpen.

Up next

Cleveland sends Jefry Rodriguez to the mound Thursday at 3:05 p.m. ET against the Dodgers at Goodyear Ballpark. Rodriguez allowed one run on two hits in two innings in the club's Cactus League opener against the Royals. He struck out two and walked one.

Jesse Sanchez, who has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2001, is a national reporter based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook.