The Cleveland Indians have gotten more bad news than good on the injury front, but Mike Clevinger is coming along nicely in his recovery from knee surgery.
Clevinger was given a timetable between six and eight weeks before he could return to game activity. That’s probably still the case, regardless of how adamant he is on coming back earlier. The Indians have absolutely no incentive to rush their best starting pitcher back and risk compounding a relatively minor issue.
But in true Clevinger fashion, he’s giving it the old what-for anyway. Zack Meisel of The Athletic reported shortly after the surgery that Clevinger aims to beat his recovery timeline, and Clevinger’s latest Twitter activity indicates he isn’t messing around.
ᴵ ᵈᵒⁿ’ᵗ ᵖʳᵃᶜᵗⁱᶜᵉ ˢᵃⁿᵗᵉʳⁱᵃ,ᴵᵃⁱⁿ’ᵗ ᵍᵒᵗ ⁿᵒ ᶜʳʸˢᵗᵃˡ ᵇᵃˡˡ, pic.twitter.com/TsGjXkUE9v
— ❂ Mike ℕℍℕ Clevinger ❂ (@Mike_Anthony13) February 28, 2020
As you can see, Clevinger doesn’t look much like a guy who just had his knee operated on. The violence of his windup and delivery are in mid-season form.
Again, as promising as his progress is, needlessly expediting his return to game action would be foolish. If he has to miss the first week or two of the regular season in order to make sure he’s fully ready, so be it.
Carlos Carrasco (hopefully) and Shane Bieber can hold down the fort in the meantime. And who knows? Maybe the Indians won’t look like the worst offense in league history to start 2020 like they did in 2019, and consequently won’t have to rely so heavily on their starters to put up zeroes for seven and eight innings.
In any case, it’s encouraging to see Clevinger doing so well on the road to recovery. For the time being, it appears the Indians may benefit from some good luck after all.