The Indians are reinstating right-hander Zach Plesac from the 10-day injured list to start this evening’s game against the Royals, the team informed reporters (including Mandy Bell of MLB.com). Righty J.C. Mejia was optioned to Triple-A Columbus to create active roster space.
Plesac has missed about a month and a half since suffering a non-displaced fracture in his right thumb in late May. Before the injury, the 26-year-old had tossed 58 2/3 innings of 4.14 ERA/4.50 SIERA ball over his first ten starts. That’s a step back from the sterling 2.28 ERA/3.41 SIERA he pitched to over 55 1/3 frames in 2020, but it’s still solid production.
Cleveland hasn’t gotten much decent work from the starting staff in recent weeks. The Indians lost Shane Bieber and Aaron Civale to IL stints of their own after Plesac went down, leaving them relying on an unproven rotation. Over the past month, Indians starters have pitched to a woeful 7.16 ERA that bests only the Orioles rotation (8.40). That’s contributed to a significant drop in the standings, as the Indians are amidst a nine-game losing streak that has knocked them back to .500 (42-42), eight games behind the division-leading White Sox.
Mejia has been a big part of those struggles. Over his seven starts, the 24-year-old has given up 25 runs in 25 1/3 innings. It has also been a difficult season for Triston McKenzie, who has walked 20.6% of opposing hitters en route to a 6.38 ERA. That led the Indians to option McKenzie last month, but he’ll be recalled to start tomorrow evening’s game, relays Zack Meisel of the Athletic (Twitter link).