The Cleveland Indians have made the Mike Clevinger call-up official by optioning Tyler Naquin to the Triple-A Columbus Clippers. The move was first reported by Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plains Dealer. Naquin was recently promoted to Indians for his second stint on the team following Michael Brantley's trip to the disabled list.
Demoting Tyler Naquin while he is "a .300 hitter" may seem odd, but just like the first time he was sent down, his plate approach could use some work (3.1 BB%, 32.3 K%), and he will be able to work on it full-time in Triple-A. With Brantley still on the shelf, Jose Ramirez will be getting a lot of work in left field, and the recently-promoted Michael Martinez will handle the infield utility role that Ramirez normally fills.
News of Clevinger's impending call-up was first broken Tuesday when the Indians revealed that the 25-year-old would make his major league debut against the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday. It is also worth noting that, since the game is taking place in a National League park, Clevinger will also be getting his first career at-bat, unless something goes horribly wrong by the time the ninth batter rolls around.
In his seven starts for the Columbus Clippers this season, Clevinger has a 3.03 ERA and a 3.29 FIP. The biggest thing to keep an eye in his debut and moving forward will be how many batters he walks; free bases have been an issue in 2016 after it seemed like he had it under control with a 2.28 BB/9 in 2015.
If the last two games are any indication, Clevinger could have a huge cushion to work with in his debut -- the Indians scored 28 runs in their last two games combined against the Reds.