Indians Bring Back Plutko Again, Place Naquin on Disabled List
Bob Toth | On 28, Jul 2018
With Saturday’s probable starter Mike Clevinger dealing with an illness in Detroit, the Indians have changed course on their roster plans for the day.
Outfielder Tyler Naquin, as expected, has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with right hip soreness and has left the team to return to Cleveland for further evaluation. The team was expected to promote Greg Allen from Triple-A Columbus, but due to Clevinger’s illness, instead brought back right-hander Adam Plutko.
Plutko was with the Indians’ Triple-A affiliate at Lehigh Valley, where the Clippers were set to play the IronPigs.
With a little over an hour until game time, Clevinger is still listed as the probable starter, but if he is unable to go, it will be a bullpen game with Dan Otero likely the first name selected out of the bullpen. If Otero will get the starting nod, it will be his first Major League start after 312 career relief appearances. He has made just two starting appearances during his professional career, with both coming in August of 2015 while pitching for Oakland’s Triple-A Nashville affiliate.
The Indians were expected to recall the outfielder Allen from Columbus in time for the game to replace the banged up Naquin, but Clevinger’s illness quickly changed those plans. Plutko will give the Indians an extra arm in the bullpen in the event that Clevinger’s illness prevents him from starting or from pitching deep into the night.
Plutko was scheduled to start the second game of a doubleheader against the IronPigs on Saturday. The 26-year-old has posted a 5-3 record with a 1.83 ERA and a 0.68 WHIP in eleven starts for Columbus with a no-hitter to his credit. For the Indians, he has gone 4-2 with a save, a 4.87 ERA, and a 1.28 WHIP in six starts and two relief appearances.
The 27-year-old Naquin’s health has been a roadblock this season. He missed more than a month on the disabled list from mid-May through mid-June with a left hamstring strain.
Naquin started off the season well before his hamstring failed him. Through his first 30 games (22 games), he was one of the top hitters on the club, putting up a .333/.367/.453 line with three doubles, two homers, and eleven RBI. But in his 31 games (25 starts) since being activated from the DL, he has put up a .212/.240/.283 slash at the plate with 21 hits (four doubles and one homer) and 21 strikeouts in 104 plate appearances. Those numbers were dragged down by a brutal stretch in June, as he hit .162/.179/.216 in a dozen contests that month.
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