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Game Thread: Mike Clevinger makes his MLB debut as Tribe travels to Cincinnati to face Reds

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Mike Clevinger, in case you didn't see any of the other articles today.
Mike Clevinger, in case you didn't see any of the other articles today.
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Indians vs. Cincinnati Reds

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016. 7:10 p.m. ET. Great American Ballpark


Radio: WTAM

Hey, did you know that Mike Clevinger is making his MLB debut tonight? If you didn't, I'm impressed that you were able to avoid electronics for the past 48 hours; might I suggest reading the four articles today on LGT to catch up with every other Tribe fan?

The blessing and curse of a prospect making his debut is that there is no history to provide any reasonable expectations. Blank slates are exciting because you can project any future you want onto them. Clevinger could be the next [insert great pitcher here] and because there's no evidence to the contrary, there's no reason he can't be. Until he gives up five runs tonight, and then he'll be just another young and talented pitcher who still needs to get better. I guess what I'm saying is this: be excited to see a possible core member of the team make his debut, but also keep in mind that he's not going to walk onto the mound in Cincinnati a fully formed ace.

The Reds meanwhile are picking up the pieces from the last two blowouts, adding two pitchers to their roster. Jumbo Diaz and Keyvius Sampson are new members of the Cincinnati bullpen; neither pitcher has exactly excelled at the MLB level, but if then again, given the state of the Reds' pen, if they had had success they would have already been on the roster. Needless to say, the Reds will be leaning heavily on Brandon Finnegan tonight. Finnegan should be familiar to Tribe fans, as he pitched for the Royals in 2014 and 2015 before being dealt to Cincinnati in the Johnny Cueto deal. Finnegan has struggled with walks (leading the NL with 23), so expect Tribe batters to be (even more) patient at the plate tonight.

Today's Lineups

Rajai Davis - CF Zack Cozart - SS
Jason Kipnis - 2B Billy Hamilton - CF
Francisco Lindor - SS Joey Votto - 1B
Mike Napoli - 1B Brandon Phillips - 2B
Jose Ramirez - LF Jay Bruce - RF
Yan Gomes - C Eugenio Suarez - 3B
Marlon Byrd - RF Tyler Holt - LF
Juan Uribe - 3B Tucker Barnhart - C
Mike Clevinger - RHP Brandon Finnegan - LHP