In a promising development for the injury-stricken Indians, right-hander Mike Clevinger is steadily progressing towards beginning a rehab assignment, writes Mandy Bell of MLB.com. Clevinger, who was able to make just two starts before landing on the injured list with a strained back, has thrown a couple of bullpen sessions, and will build up his workload in subsequent sessions before embarking on a minor league assignment, which should come in the near future. Expect Clevinger to conduct a few more bullpen sessions to increase his pitch count before returning to game action in the minor leagues. Certainly, the news should inspire some optimism among Cleveland faithful, for whom the presence of the intense Clevinger on the mound will be especially comforting, considering the team’s unfortunate struggles with injuries to Corey Kluber and Danny Salazar. As Bell notes, June 7 marks the earliest date that Clevinger could be activated.
Here are the latest tidbits from the baseball world…
- The Rays will deploy minor-league infielder Jake Cronenworth as a two-way player moving forward, reports Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Cronenworth was used as the “opener” yesterday for Triple-A Durham, reportedly flashing a fastball at 94-96 miles per hour. The 25-year-old, a 7th-round selection of the Rays in 2015, pitched at the University of Michigan. It bears mentioning that Cronenworth has been plenty successful with the bat in 2019, slashing a cool .367/.460/.511 in 37 Triple-A games this season. This, of course, marks latest experiment for the innovative Rays, who also feature high-profile two-way player Brendan McKay in their farm system.
- Rangers reliever Shawn Kelley, who Thursday underwent a procedure to remove lumps from his throat, is back throwing live batting practice, tweets Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, who further notes that Kelley could even be activated as early as Monday. Kelley last appeared from the Rangers on May 4, and was subsequently placed on the IL with an infection, though it was unclear just what Kelley was dealing with. Of course, the Rangers will breathe a sigh of relief as they hope to welcome back Kelley, who has been one of the club’s most productive relievers.
- Phillies outfielder Roman Quinn, currently on the injured list recovering from a strained groin, will hit exclusively from the right side when he returns to action, notes Matt Gelb of The Athletic (subscription required). Quinn, a natural righty, began hitting from both sides at the beginning of his professional career per the Phillies’ request, but injuries have stunted his development as a switch-hitter. As a result, he has informed manager Gabe Kapler that he will bat only as a righty, where Quinn has enjoyed considerably stronger platoon splits, upon his return from the injured list.