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Cleveland Indians call upon Adam Plutko for doubleheader

(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Indians are turning to minor league pitcher Adam Plutko as the extra man for their doubleheader against the Toronto Blue Jays.

With their rainout/makeup doubleheader against the Toronto Blue Jays approaches, the Cleveland Indians have announced they are calling up Triple-A pitcher Adam Plutko to make the start in game two of the twinbill (Carlos Carrasco will start game one).

Adam Plutko is a name some may remember as he did make his big league debut with the Indians back in 2016. He made two relief appearances that September, allowing three runs in 3 2/3 innings. This will be his first ever big league start though it’s the role he’s most familiar with. Plutko has made five starts with the Columbus Clippers this year, going 3-2 in 30 2/3 innings with a 2.35 ERA.

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The 26-year-old right-hander has been with the Indians since being drafted in the 11th round of the 2013 draft out of UCLA. In fact, Plukto was a college teammate of Trevor Bauer and Houston Astro Gerrit Cole. Plutko actually took over the role of club ace after those two left and were both top three picks in the 2011 draft.

What does Plutko bring?

Plutko, at one time, was one of the better prospects in the Cleveland Indians system, even coming in at No. 16 on our list just last year. However, Plutko struggled a lot in 2017, posting a 5.90 ERA in 135 2/3 innings with the Clippers. What’s hurt Plutko in recent years has been his control. Prior to his call-up to Triple-A in 2016, Plutko had a walk rate around five-percent. Since then, he’d been over nine-percent. So far this year, Plutko has been at six-percent, though obviously, that’s a very small sample size.

Plutko is not a big strikeout guy, so he needs this pinpoint control to be effective. In a way, he’s a younger version of Josh Tomlin. He throws a bit harder (low 90s and can touch 93) but he is much more finesse than a guy like Mike Clevinger. Plutko does have a four-pitch mix with a slider, curveball, and changeup, which is his best pitch.

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Adam Plutko will be out of minor league options after the 2018 season, so starts like this one will be big for him to prove he belongs in the major leagues. He will certainly be sent back to Columbus following his start but we likely have not seen the last of him this year. He could help out in the bullpen at some point or perhaps get some more starts down the line.