May 28: Plesac has been called up for his Major League debut, the Indians announced. Lefty Josh Smith was optioned to Triple-A Columbus in his place.
May 25: The Indians will select right-hander Zach Plesac’s contract from Triple-A Columbus, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports. The 24-year-old will make his major league debut Tuesday with a start in Boston, according to Paul Hoynes of cleveland.com. Plesac is not on the Indians’ 40-man roster yet, but they do have an opening.
The nephew of former major league pitcher Dan Plesac, Zach Plesac has been with the Cleveland organization since it chose him in Round 12 of the 2016 draft. Plesac does not rank among the Indians’ top 30 prospects at either MLB.com or FanGraphs, with Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel of the latter outlet describing him as a changeup artist with questionable command. He also underwent Tommy John surgery during his draft year, though he’s not showing any ill effects from the procedure these days.
Prior to his major league promotion, Plesac began the season in dominant fashion at the minors’ two highest levels. Plesac stymied Double-A hitters before moving on to Triple-A, where he has recorded a sterling 2.25 ERA and 9.9 K/9 against 0.45 BB/9 over 20 innings and three starts. He offers a 94 to 96 mph fastball and an offspeed mix that includes a curveball, changeup and slider, per Hoynes.
Injuries in the Indians’ rotation, where they’ve gone without Corey Kluber and Mike Clevinger for a large portion of 2019, helped pave the way for Plesac’s call-up. Both pitchers are progressing in their recoveries, though. Kluber, who has been out since May 1 with a fractured forearm, no longer requires a cast, manager Terry Francona announced (via Mandy Bell of MLB.com). The Indians will re-evaluate Kluber in two weeks. Meantime, Clevinger may only be a week to 10 days from starting a minor league rehab assignment, Ryan Lewis of Ohio.com tweets. Clevinger went to the shelf April 9 with a back injury.