Rodriguez to get spot start in Clevinger's place

April 11th, 2019

DETROIT -- The Indians have found their short-term replacement for injured starter , tapping to make a spot start for the team on Saturday.

Rodriguez will make his Cleveland debut on the road against Kansas City, according to Indians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti. A corresponding move has yet to be announced.

The 25-year-old Rodriguez joined the Indians on November 30 as one of the players acquired from Washington in a trade for Yan Gomes. Rodriguez debuted with the Nationals last season, going 3-3 with a 5.71 ERA in 14 games (eight starts).

Rodriguez earned a win in his lone start with Triple-A Columbus this season, allowing three runs in 5 2/3 innings this past Saturday on 91 pitches.

Antonetti clarified that Rodriguez will be brought up for just one start. Cleveland has off-days on April 18 and 22, which will allow the team to operate with a four-man rotation on regular rest for a little while longer.

Still no target date for Lindor’s return

For the second consecutive day, shortstop Francisco Lindor tested his leg injuries before the game at Comerica Park. He ran straightaways in the outfield, rounded the bases and fielded ground balls. Lindor's timetable is still undefined.

“He’s at the point of being able to do everything baseball-wise, from taking ground balls, to taking batting practice,” Antonetti said. “It’s just a question of those more aggressive movements and turns. That’s the next step in his progression.”

From there, Cleveland will structure a rehab plan for its three-time All-Star. This is Lindor’s first time on the injured list since he was called up in 2015 — it’s clear the Indians are willing to play the long game in hopes that it doesn’t happen again any time soon.

“I’m less concerned with [Lindor] getting his timing down than I am just building up the volume [of reps] to make sure we get this injury behind us and keep him healthy for the rest of the season,” Antonetti said.

Notes on other injured Indians

• Jason Kipnis will play for Columbus on Thursday night and is scheduled to play the next few nights before being reassessed. Antonetti said there’s a “good chance he could join us on the road trip.”

• Clevinger has been examined by team doctors and is in the process of getting opinions from experts around the country. His decision -- to have surgery or “conservative treatment,” as Antonetti called it -- should come in the next few days. The team believes Clevinger's timetable to return will be about the same in either case.

• Danny Salazar is now throwing off a mound at the team’s facility in Goodyear, Ariz. “His shoulder feels as good as it’s felt in a long time and Danny’s been really encouraged by it,” Antonetti said.

• Tyler Clippard is throwing a simulated game in Arizona on Thursday. He will likely head to extended spring camp next week.