The Indians placed right-hander Jefry Rodriguez on the 10-day injured list Tuesday, Ryan Lewis of Ohio.com relays. Rodriguez is dealing with a “mild” shoulder strain, according to manager Terry Francona, though he’ll still miss “at least a few weeks,” per Lewis. The team activated outfielder Tyler Naquin from the IL to take Rodriguez’s roster spot.
The 25-year-old Rodriguez arrived in Cleveland last offseason as part of its return from Washington for catcher Yan Gomes. But Rodriguez wasn’t supposed to see this much action with the Tribe right away. Before landing on the IL, he totaled eight starts and 43 2/3 innings of 4.74 ERA/4.47 FIP pitching with 6.6 K/9 and 3.92 BB/9. The Indians have had to rely on Rodriguez because of injuries to two of their best hurlers, Corey Kluber and Mike Clevinger, who have only combined for seven starts and 47 2/3 frames this season.
It’s not yet clear who will take over for Rodriguez in the Indians’ rotation. It’s not going to be Clevinger, who has been down since April 8 because of back issues, but he’s not far from a return. Lewis reports Clevinger will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Columbus on Thursday. As things stand, the 28-year-old is way ahead of schedule, Lewis suggests.
Clevinger came out of the gates in awe-inspiring fashion during his first two starts this season, throwing 12 scoreless innings of two-hit ball and racking up 22 strikeouts against three walks. His comeback will be a welcome morsel of positive news for a .500 Cleveland club that’s sitting a distant 10 1/2 games behind first-place Minnesota in the AL Central. The Indians entered the season as back-to-back-to-back division champions, and their two most recent titles came with key contributions from Clevinger.