With Mike Clevinger out the next six to eight weeks, the Indians needed another starting pitcher in the rotation.
Adam Plutko is currently injured as well with a forearm strain so the Indians will call up Jefry Rodriguez from Triple-A Columbus to make his Indians debut on Saturday against the Kansas City Royals.
The 25-year-old right hander was acquired by the Indians along with outfield prospect Daniel Johnson from the Washington Nationals last November in the Yan Gomes trade.
Rodriguez made 14 appearances for the Nationals last year in his rookie season with eight starts. He went 3-3 with a 5.71 ERA in 52 innings pitched, allowing 43 hits, giving up 33 earned runs, eight home runs allowed while striking out 39 batters and walking 37.
During spring training, Rodriguez appeared in four games (one start) going 0-1 with a 7.11 ERA in 6.1 innings pitched. He allowed two hits, five earned runs, struck out four while walking six batters.
He’s also made one start for the Columbus Clippers already this season going 5.2 innings while striking out four and giving up three earned runs in a 5-4 win against Indianapolis this past Saturday.
Baseball America wrote earlier this year that he was more effective as a bullpen arm with the Nationals but his control has never been a strong suit in his pitching.
The Indians are only giving him this one start on Saturday before they assess all their options as they look to fill the void left by Clevinger’s injury.
Thankfully the Indians still have Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer, Carlos Carrasco and Shane Bieber in their rotation and all have pitched very well at the start of this season.
They should be able to hold down the starting pitching in Clevinger’s absence but I think the organization is looking for that fifth starter that they can rely on for the next few months or potentially the rest of the 2019 season if the injury doesn’t heal on it’s own.