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Clevinger set for first action against Reds

Right-hander is competing for spot in Indians' rotation
MLB.com @MLBastian

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The best way to describe Indians right-hander Mike Clevinger's delivery is controlled chaos. He rocks back, loads quickly and fires the baseball as his long hair whips around his face and he exhales forcefully. During spring bullpen sessions, Clevinger has easily been the most intense, and certainly the loudest.

"I treat every bullpen like it's Game 7 of the World Series," Clevinger said with a smile.

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The best way to describe Indians right-hander Mike Clevinger's delivery is controlled chaos. He rocks back, loads quickly and fires the baseball as his long hair whips around his face and he exhales forcefully. During spring bullpen sessions, Clevinger has easily been the most intense, and certainly the loudest.

"I treat every bullpen like it's Game 7 of the World Series," Clevinger said with a smile.

Indians Spring Training: Info | Tickets | Schedule

The World Series is the goal for every Indians player and that quest officially begins on Friday, when they host the Reds at 3:05 p.m. ET in their Cactus League opener at Goodyear Ballpark on MLB.TV. Clevinger will get the start and the Tribe nine will be packed with star power out of the chute.

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

The tentative starting lineup for Friday's contest includes shortstop Francisco Lindor leading off, followed by catcher Yan Gomes, third baseman Jose Ramirez, designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion, first baseman Yonder Alonso, center fielder Rajai Davis, right fielder Melvin Upton Jr., left fielder Brandon Barnes and second baseman Drew Maggi.

Lefty Ryan Merritt, who is vying for a spot on the Tribe's pitching staff, will follow Clevinger on the mound.

Last season, Clevinger logged 121 2/3 innings and went 12-6 with a 3.11 ERA. In his final 11 appearances last year, he posted a 1.71 ERA with a .198 opponents' average. He has his sights on a rotation job and has aspirations of joining Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco as another 200-inning arm on the staff.

"I feel stronger this year, a lot more confident in my mechanics," Clevinger said. "Everyone has proven their spot. Everyone deserves a spot here. It's just going to come down to who executes. It's going to be a fun battle. We're going to push each other to raise the bar, just like we do during the year."

Video: Francona on Clevinger getting ahead in counts

Worth noting
• Right-hander Carlos Torres was in camp on Thursday with the Indians, who officially announced they signed the reliever to a Minor League contract with a non-roster invitation to Spring Training. Manager Terry Francona said Torres will be competing for the lone vacancy in the club's bullpen.

"It's a great opportunity," Torres told reporters. "It's not very often you get a chance to come to one of the best teams in the league. I'm just hoping I can help out with whatever's needed to be done. This team is a great organization. It's a great place to be."

• The Indians, along with the 29 other Major League teams, will don Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School baseball caps for Friday's game. The caps will later be signed and auctioned to raise money for the Broward Education Foundation, which will benefit the official Stoneman Douglas Victims' Fund in the wake of the tragic school shooting on Feb. 14.

"Wearing a hat, it's not going to change anything," Francona said. "I think showing support is always a good thing, especially when you talk about kids and what happened. In my opinion, it's a very small thing, but if it helps even one single person, good."

• Francona said outfielder Brandon Guyer aggravated his left wrist, which was surgically repaired in October, and will spend the next few days focusing on rehab. Barring any setbacks, Guyer would resume baseball activities on Monday.

• Second baseman Jason Kipnis is currently dealing with lower-back tightness, but Francona is hopeful he will be able to make his Cactus League debut on Sunday.

Video: Miller optimistic for Indians chances in 2018

• Lefty Andrew Miller threw a bullpen session during Thursday's workout and is "good to go," according to Francona. Miller missed two workouts earlier this week due to the flu.

• Minor League right-hander Cole Sulser (a non-roster invitee) is dealing with a fractured rib and his timetable for a return to the mound is unclear.

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook.

Cleveland Indians, Mike Clevinger, Brandon Guyer, Jason Kipnis, Andrew Miller