Every year, a handful of MLB players tend to suffer injuries in rather odd ways.
The one that landed Indians pitcher Zach Plesac on the IL this week certainly falls into that category.
MLB.com’s Mandy Bell reports that Plesac suffered a “non-displaced fracture” in his right thumb. How did the righthanded pitcher suffer the injury? Well, as Terry Francona explained, Plesac’s injury occurred as he “rather aggressively ripped off his shirt.”
Evidently, Plesac was upset after he allowed five runs (three earned) in just 3 2/3 innings of work in the Indians’ loss to the Twins on Sunday. That’s what led to the incident that caused the freak injury.
With Plesac (4-3, 4.14 ERA) set to miss time, Cleveland’s starting rotation becomes very thin. Reigning Cy Young-winner Shane Bieber and seven-game winner Aaron Civale will continue to headline the Indians’ rotation, but Plesac’s 58 2/3 innings were the third-most on the team. And in six consecutive starts, he had allowed three or fewer earned runs while posting a 2.93 ERA and 3-0 record.
In his absence, Triston McKenzie (1-3, 6.89 ERA) and Sam Hentges (1-1, 6.20 ERA) will be called upon to carry more of the workload for Cleveland. They’ll need a fifth starter as well, so perhaps they can turn to Cal Quantrill for some help there. The 26-year-old started 21 combined games in 2019 and 2020 for the Padres and Indians.
Either way, Plesac’s absence, however long, will have a negative impact on the Indians as they look to keep pace with the White Sox in the AL Central. Entering play Wednesday, they are 26-20 and 1 1/2 games out of first place.
The Indians may be able to stay afloat without Plesac, but losing him to such an unfortunate and unlikely injury at this stage in the season has to sting.
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