May 22: The Sox announced that Scholtens has indeed been recalled from Charlotte to take Clevinger’s spot on the roster. They’ll go with a bullpen game against Cleveland tonight rather than giving Scholtens a conventional start, however. Right-hander Jimmy Lambert, who hasn’t pitched more than 1 2/3 innings in any outing this year, has been announced as Chicago’s starter.
May 21: The White Sox placed right-hander Mike Clevinger on the 15-day IL, retroactive to May 18, with wrist inflammation prior to today’s game against the Royals, the club announced. Clevinger was expected to start tomorrow’s game against the Guardians, but will instead be out for at least the rest of the month. He’ll be first eligible to return in early June, though there’s no clear timeline for Clevinger’s return at this time. No corresponding move has been announced, with the White Sox expecting to make a move ahead of tomorrow’s game against Cleveland.
Clevinger once appeared to be among the most promising young starters in the sport, as he posted a 2.96 ERA and 3.39 FIP over 489 1/3 innings from 2017-2020. That four year stretch of dominance saw him record a 28% strikeout rate while walking just 9% of batters he faced. Unfortunately for Clevinger, he would miss the entire 2021 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, ultimately returning to the mound early in the 2022 campaign.
Upon his return from the surgery, Clevinger’s fastball velocity had dipped from 95.1 mph down to 93.6 mph. In addition to the lost velocity, the right-hander has seen a major dip in his production since returning to the mound, with a 4.40 ERA and 5.02 FIP in ten starts since the beginning of the 2022 campaign. Clevinger, who is in Chicago on a one-year, $12MM deal this season, is far from the only White Sox starter struggling so far in 2023, as each of Dylan Cease, Michael Kopech, and Lance Lynn have ERAs above 4.50 this season.
While Clevinger looks to fight off his current ailment and get things back on track, the White Sox could potentially turn to Jesse Scholtens in the rotation, as the right-hander is the only other healthy starter on the 40-man roster. Scholtens, who made his MLB debut earlier this season, has a 3.00 ERA in three innings of work for the White Sox this season and a 3.99 ERA in 38 1/3 innings of work at the Triple-A level. Other possible option include Daniel Ponce de Leon and Luke Farrell, though both would require a 40-man roster spot.