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Can Mike Clevinger finally stake his claim in the Indians starting rotation for good?

With Kluber on the 10-Day DL for back discomfort and the back end of the starting rotation on shaky ground, can Tribe right hander Mike Clevinger prove he's the short term and long term answer for Indians rotation?

Now that word is out that Cleveland Indians ace Corey Kluber is going to miss a few starts with a lower back strain he suffered this past week in his start agains the Detroit Tigers, the Indians will be forced to make a call to the minors for help.

Mike Clevinger will get the ball this Sunday when the Tribe takes on the Kansas City Royals

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Clevinger has had a spectacular year down in AAA Columbus anchoring the Clippers rotation.

With a 3-1 record and a 1.50 ERA, Clevinger has struck out 32 batters in his 30 innings (6 starts) of work. Clevinger has always been able to pitch well in the minors, it's just that every time he is summoned upon from the minors to start a big league game there is command issues that arise for the hard-throwing righty.

In 10 starts last season for the Indians Clevinger walked 29 batters in 53 innings with an ERA of 5.26. Of course, last year was his first cup of tea in the majors. 

This season the Indians starting rotation has been inconsistent. Especially from the back end of the rotation. Trevor Bauer has not pitched very well, and Josh Tomlin seems to be starting to turn around his rocky start to begin the season.

This could be a golden opportunity for a young pitcher like Clevinger to state his case to Tribe brass that he belongs in the rotation now, and for the long haul. 

The Indians do not have much depth in the upper minors for starting pitching. That's why it's important for someone like Clevinger to come in and prove that he belongs on the big league roster.

With a thin pitching staff in both AAA-Columbus and AA-Akron especially, the Indians cannot afford many things to go wrong within their rotation on the 25 man roster.

Of all the starting pitchers to go down, Kluber is the worst case scenario for the Indians who are looking for more consistency from their starters. Now, Clevinger has his chance to show that he belongs and if Tomlin or Bauer especially cannot shake his early season funk, and could potentially be replaced in the rotation by Clevinger.

Do you think Clevinger will stake a claim to stay in the rotation with the Indians?


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