Cleveland Indians: Mike Clevinger to undergo knee surgery

(Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
(Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Indians will begin spring training on a low note, as star pitcher Mike Clevinger is set to have surgery on his injured knee.

Cleveland Indians pitcher Mike Clevinger will have knee surgery Friday, per Mandy Bell of

This freight train of a report arrives just in time to suck all the excitement and hope out of spring training–a time at which excitement and hope are kind of a big deal. Knee injuries aren’t often followed by rapid recoveries, and neither are the surgeries needed to repair them.

If there is any silver lining whatsoever to this development, it’s that it happened in the middle of February as opposed to a month from now or once the season started. Clevinger still has six weeks of preseason to recover. Though it stands to reason he’ll miss at least the beginning of the regular season anyway, the Indians have a head start on planning for that.

Again, that’s the extent of the glass-half-full viewpoint. The top-heavy Indians rotation, populated in front by Clevinger, Carlos Carrasco, and Shane Bieber, just became dangerously shallow for the time being. Some combination of Aaron Civale, Zach Plesac, Adam Plutko, Logan Allen, Jefry Rodriguez, or perhaps an outside hire will have to fill in the blanks.

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The Indians endured a nightmarish wave of uncannily timed injuries in 2019, including one to Clevinger at a time when he looked unhittable. It appears as though such luck has followed Cleveland into 2020. Spring training has not even begun in full force yet, and they are already a man down.