Indians Have Found a Rising Superstar in Mike Clevinger

The Cleveland Indians have currently won 27 of their last 29, including their record-breaking 22-game winning streak and have gotten production from everyone on their roster. Of course, the big names on the Indians, Cory Kluber, Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor, get the national attention. But here in Cleveland, we know it wouldn’t have been possible without the rest of this incredibly talented Indians team. Now one player, in particular, has emerged as one of the best young players on the Indians and looks to be a mainstay on the team for years to come. I’m speaking of course about pitcher Mike Clevinger.

Clevinger wasn’t originally part of the Indians plans this season, but that changed when injuries plagued several Indians’ starting pitchers early in the season. He was brought up the first week of May and made his 2017 debut on May 7 with a stellar outing against the Kansas City Royals, where he went 5 2/3 innings, striking out five and giving up no runs in a 1-0 victory for his first win of the season. The young pitcher then gained some national attention when he had a stellar outing in Houston against the Astros in which he took a no-hitter into the 6th inning and finished with seven innings pitched, two hits and eight strikeouts. After this game, it was clear that Clevinger deserved to stay on this team.

There were, of course, some early struggles for Clevinger during this season, but he has always been able to bounce back. After a poor outing in Colorado, in which he only went four innings and gave up five runs, he followed that up with two solid outings, allowing only three earned runs combined wboth leading to Indians’ victories. He proved throughout the season that he would not allow a poor start to carry over into the next one, something that is very rare for a young pitcher in the league.

Clevinger really started to turn it on when the Indians began their winning streak. Throughout the 22-game winning streak for the Indians, he only allowed one earned run in 23 2/3 innings pitched. Leading up to his most recent start against the Angels last Tuesday, Clevinger was 4-0 with a 0.38 ERA in his last four starts. He followed this up continuing to impress with a victory against the Angles with six innings of one-run baseball striking out six. During the month of September, he is 4-0 with a 0.76 ERA, earning him the right to pitch in the playoffs.

Clevinger began this season in the minor leagues, but due to injuries on the Indians was called up and given a chance he took full advantage of. Currently, Clevinger is 11-5 on the season with an impressive 3.13 ERA and 133 strikeouts. He has added to an already stacked Indians pitching rotation led by Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco and Trevor Bauer, making it a 4-man rotation and as good as any other rotation in the league. He has emerged himself as someone who will be a very vital part of the Indians success now and for years to come.

Follow the author: @DanLukas12

Photos courtesy of The Plain Dealer

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