While the Indians on the field had a great weekend, the fallout over the team meeting on Friday prior to the team’s first game in Detroit is finally coming to light.
Jeff Passan of ESPN reported Monday morning that the meeting between Indians players and coaches was very tense, and included players scolding starters Mike Clevinger and Zach Plesac for their actions in Chicago a week ago Saturday.
Passan says that reliever Oliver Perez was so upset by the actions of the two starters that he claimed he would opt out for the rest of 2020 if the two stayed on the team’s roster.
Clevinger and Plesac did speak in the meeting with an attempt to defend their actions on the night of August 7th, but it sounds like the other Indians in the clubhouse wanting nothing to do with it.
The report says that a few players did accept the pairs apology and wanted them to stay on the big league roster, but in the end enough players were still upset over the “breach of trust” by leaving the team hotel that the decision was made to send them to the team’s alternate training site in Eastlake.
Plesac and Clevinger have to stay in Eastlake for at least 10 days, meaning the earliest they could rejoin the Indians big league club would be August 23rd when the team takes on the Detroit Tigers at Progressive Field.
Getting Clevinger back into the fold seems to have more of a sense of urgency since his spot in the rotation as the number two starter has had to be filled already for two starts by Adam Plutko.
Plutko didn’t last three innings on Sunday in the Indians eventual win over the Tigers, and it remains to be seen how long the Indians will stick with him with Clevinger ready to go on the 23rd sitting in Eastlake.
As for Plesac, with off days the team can go till September 1st, but as of now they do need someone to start Saturday’s home game on August 22nd against the Tigers.
The tenseness of the team meeting reportedly saw a number of players go right after the two pitchers, as not only was Perez vocal in his declaration that he’d opt out, but also team leader Francisco Lindor was critical of the pair.
Indians manager Terry Francona as well as a number of players spoke numerous times prior to the start of the season about the importance of being smart this year and following team rules – only to have two of their most important players out and out break the rules just three weeks into the shortened season.
With Clevinger and Plesac away, the Tribe won all three in Detroit and moved to within a game of the Twins in the AL Central sitting at 13-9.
The club has an off day Monday before they head to Pittsburgh to play a three-game set against the 4-14 Pirates starting on Tuesday night.