SURPRISE, Ariz. -- After Tyler Clippard was pulled from a spring game last week with right pectoral tightness, the Indians seemed optimistic that he’d be out for just a couple days -- but the right-hander has now been shut down for a few weeks.
The Indians announced Friday afternoon that Clippard is expected to miss the next three to four weeks of baseball activity due to a mild pectoral strain. Clippard was removed from his March 9 appearance against the Rockies and felt continued discomfort during his return to throwing progression this week in Goodyear.
Clippard was signed to a Minor League deal with a non-roster invitation to Spring Training on Feb. 23. Indians manager Terry Francona said Friday morning that the team is actively working through ways to keep the 34-year-old righty and also noted that Clippard’s representative was in Goodyear on Thursday, assisting the reliever through the process.
Over 12 seasons, Clippard has accumulated a 3.16 ERA, 3.88 FIP, 1.13 WHIP and averaged 10.0 strikeouts per nine innings. His durability over his long career was something the Indians’ bullpen needed, but the untimely injury has now left the Tribe with a difficult decision. If the team does not place him on the 25-man roster or the injured list at the outset of the season, Cleveland has the option of paying him a retention bonus of $100,000 or releasing him.
“[We’re] just trying to figure out how we can do this because we really want to keep him,” Francona said.