Clevinger close to throwing off mound

May 11th, 2019

OAKLAND – Right-hander is taking the final step in his recovery from a back injury before he tries throwing off a bullpen mound.

Cleveland manager Terry Francona said Friday that Clevinger was expected to increase the distance of his throwing on flat ground from 120 feet to 150 feet. Francona pointed out that 150 feet is considered the maximum length for playing what’s known as “long toss” before trying to throw off a mound.

He added that Clevinger will try throwing at 150 feet again on Sunday. The ballclub’s braintrust is likely to decide at that point what’s next for Clevinger, who thrived in his first two starts this season when he struck out 22 and walked just four in 12 shutout innings.

Francona indicated that Clevinger has looked smooth in his throwing sessions.

“What’s encouraging is, not only is he doing that, but that he looks like Clev,” Francona said. “He doesn’t look like an injured Clev. He just looks like Clev. It’s kind of remarkable.”

Bauers picking up steam

Left fielder unquestionably has been among Cleveland’s most improved performers this season. He entered Friday on a 7-for-18 (.389) binge over his last six games that raised his batting average from .231 to .257, and he stayed hot in the series opener at Oakland, going 1-for-5 with an RBI double. 

By comparison, Bauers batted .201 in 96 games as a rookie last year with Tampa Bay.

Nothing’s complicated about Bauers’ surge, Francona said.

“He’s swinging at more strikes. He’s not chasing as much,” Francona said. “He has plenty of bat speed. If he swings at pitches that he can handle, he’s going to have success.”