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Francona: Mike Clevinger to start on Sunday

Manager Terry Francona aligned his starting rotation for this weekend's series, including his plan to start Mike Clevinger on Sunday in place of the injured Corey Kluber.

It has not been a seamless transition from Triple-A to the major leagues for Mike Clevinger.

Despite an 11-1 record, 3.00 ERA and 1.22 WHIP with Columbus in 2016, the 25-year-old could not translate his minor league prosperity to the next level as evidenced by a 5.26 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, 4.93 BB/9 and 12.5% walk rate in three stints with the Tribe.

Sunday marks a new beginning.

The Indians will reportedly call up Clevinger to make a start against the Kansas City Royals at 2:15 p.m. ET from Kauffman Stadium. In light of Corey Kluber's lower back strain and placement on the 10-day disabled list, this transaction will allow Terry Francona to maintain a five-man starting rotation over the next week before Kluber is eligible to return. 

After a poor showing this spring with a double-digit earned run average and 12.71 BB/9 through five games (three starts) in the Cactus League, Clevinger settled in at Triple-A courtesy of a .215 opposing batting average and career-best 1.50 ERA in 30 frames of work.

With an unsteady back of the rotation in April, Cleveland could turn to Clevinger to right the ship and steer the pitching staff in a better direction moving forward in 2017.

John Alfes has covered the Indians for IBI since August of 2016. Follow him on Twitter @JohnAlfes for breaking news and in-depth coverage all season long.

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