The status of Mike Clevinger’s left ankle sprain must be good, as the Indians optioned starter Aaron Civale back to Triple-A Columbus on Monday morning. In a corresponding roster move, reliever Jon Edwards was recalled from the International League club.
Clevinger injured his left ankle in his first start off of the injured list last Monday in Texas against the Rangers. He remained in the game and lasted four and two-thirds innings, giving up five earned runs on three hits with three walks and seven strikeouts. He was placed on the IL on June 21, but the move was made retroactive to June 18. If all continues to go well, he could be activated later in the week to start for Cleveland against the Baltimore Orioles in what would be his fourth start of the season.
Civale pitched spectacularly in his Major League debut on Saturday, June 22, against the Detroit Tigers. Making just his eighth start of the season, he gave the Indians six scoreless innings of two-hit baseball, walking three and striking out six on the afternoon to earn his first career win.
The 24-year-old opened the year at Akron before a recent promotion to Columbus. In seven minor league starts, he was 5-0 with a 2.85 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP, striking out 40 and walking ten over 41 innings of work.
With an off day on Thursday at the conclusion of the Indians’ final homestand of the first half, the Indians did not need a fifth starter again until July 2, so optioning Civale back to Columbus to remain on a regular schedule was a good course of action, as long as Clevinger was going to be able to start by that second game of July.
Edwards was recalled by the Indians for the fourth different time this season. After opening the year with the club, he was sent down in mid-April and recalled a week later. He was back for four days at the beginning of May before spending nearly a month in Columbus. He was recalled for a third time earlier this month for three days. His stay would presumably be short again, as he may be the man to go when Clevinger is activated from the injured list, barring some other roster decision or injury.
On the year, Edwards has pitched nine times for Cleveland, posting a 2-0 record with a 2.25 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP with five strikeouts, six walks, and five hits allowed (including a pair of home runs). He has made 18 appearances in relief for the Clippers with a 3-0 record, a 3.97 ERA, and a 1.37 WHIP with 29 strikeouts and ten walks in 22 2/3 innings of work there.
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