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Monday could be bullpen day for Indians

MLB.com

CLEVELAND -- Indians manager Terry Francona has not named a stater for Monday's series opener against the Astros. On Friday, he noted that with the expanded rosters, it could be used as a bullpen day rather than just stretching one pitcher out.

"Monday, we need a starter," Francona said. "I think we're still going to wait and see how we get there. It's going to be more likely than not almost like a bullpen game. I think we can do that because it's September. So regardless of who starts, I don't think you're going to see them go very deep."

Full Game Coverage

CLEVELAND -- Indians manager Terry Francona has not named a stater for Monday's series opener against the Astros. On Friday, he noted that with the expanded rosters, it could be used as a bullpen day rather than just stretching one pitcher out.

"Monday, we need a starter," Francona said. "I think we're still going to wait and see how we get there. It's going to be more likely than not almost like a bullpen game. I think we can do that because it's September. So regardless of who starts, I don't think you're going to see them go very deep."

Full Game Coverage

Right-hander Josh Tomlin would have been set to start, but due to recent struggles, the team elected to skip his turn this time around. Tomlin went 0-5 with a 11.48 ERA in six starts in August. He allowed four or more runs in five of the six starts and lasted fewer than five innings five times as well.

Francona said that converted starter Mike Clevinger could be in line to start against Houston.

"He'll probably get as lengthened out as anybody," Francona said. "Whether he starts or not, we'll see. We're going to have to monitor that, too. If you throw 2-3 innings, you're not going to be available the very next day. We're going to have to watch that a little bit."

With the off-day on Thursday, Cleveland ace Corey Kluber could have started on Monday on normal rest. However, Francona mentioned the team's schedule down the stretch as a reasoning for not starting Kluber.

"He's pitching Tuesday," Francona said. "Just looking forward, if you kind of take it another couple weeks, you'll probably see it makes sense."

Shane Jackson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cleveland Indians