CLEVELAND -- The Indians were hoping to be able to rely on a four-man rotation for a little bit longer, but last Friday’s rainout -- which pushed Corey Kluber start to Saturday -- threw a wrench in their plans.
Indians manager Terry Francona will call on Jefry Rodriguez to take the mound against the Marlins on Wednesday, after he impressed the team in his debut with the club on April 13 in Kansas City. He was in Cleveland's clubhouse before Tuesday's 3-1 loss to Miami, but the move is not expected to be made official until Wednesday.
The 6-foot-6-inch right-hander allowed two runs on five hits through 5 2/3 innings against the Royals on a night the team needed some innings from its starter, since Carlos Carrasco was pulled after just two-thirds of a frame the night before. Rodriguez struck out three, didn’t give up a walk and threw 91 pitches.
“I mean, he threw strikes,” Francona said. “You know, I think the concern was he had been spotty even in his Triple-A starts. There was one good, one OK, but he really wasn’t afraid to attack the strike zone. I thought he did a really good job.”
In two starts for Triple-A Columbus, Rodriguez has allowed eight runs on 10 hits through 10 1/3 innings (6.97 ERA) and has fanned nine batters. To make room for him on the 25-man roster, the Indians are expected to make a corresponding move Tuesday night.
“He can be … I guess they call it the ‘taxi squad’ tonight,” Francona said. “So we’ll have to make a move after the game to get him on.”
Clippard inching closer
After being informed that he’d need to be shut down for a few weeks due to a mild pectoral strain on March 15, right-hander Tyler Clippard is slowly getting closer to being Major League ready. The 34-year-old has made two appearances at Triple-A Columbus, tossing two hitless frames with two strikeouts.
“Seems like every time he pitches, he kind of inches closer to who he is, which is good,” Francona said. “He's somebody that obviously we wanted to see succeed, and if we can be patient, he's getting closer and closer.”
Zimmer taking dry swings
Bradley Zimmer experienced a bit of a setback right after the team broke camp in late March, suffering a strain in his side after months of rehab for the right shoulder surgery that he underwent last July. Now, about a month later, the outfielder is taking some dry swings.
“This was two days ago now. He was nearing the end of his dry work with his swings,” Francona said. “He was nearing the end of that, so he was getting closer to live swings, which may have happened.”
Tito turns 60
Francona spent his off-day Monday celebrating his 60th birthday with his kids and grandchildren in Cleveland.
“We went to dinner,” Francona said. “Mostly it was like the grandkids, you know, taking them bowling and stuff like that. Just wondered how many people in Vegas lost money betting on the under.”
What did his grandkids get him as a present?
“Underwear. And some headphones that I have no clue how to use,” Francona said. “I thought they were smart enough to know I don't know how to [use Bluetooth]. I thought they were smart enough to know I have no idea what that even is.”
This date in Indians history
1941: Bob Feller struck out eight in the Tribe’s 5-2 victory over the St. Louis Browns at League Park.