International League Player of the Week: RHP Mike Clevinger – Indians
Righty Off To A Hot Start
Besides all of the young hitters the Cleveland Indians boast, the thing that helped them the most in 2016 was their pitching. Even with several of their starters on the shelf, the Indians ended a World Series appearance drought and got as close as you can get to winning it all. A nice problem for any organization to have is too much pitching and no place to put them. Cleveland finds themselves in that situation right now with our International League Player of the Week. The person that is taking this award for his performance during the week of April 10th to the 16th is Columbus Clippers pitcher, Mike Clevinger.
An original draft pick of the Los Angeles Angels in 2011, Clevinger was traded to the tribe in August of 2014. He made his major league debut last season and didn’t fare as well as he had in the minors. Leading up to his promotion in 2016, Clevinger was boasting a 5-0 record for Triple-A Columbus with an ERA a hair over three. In his first of three stints in the majors he struggled to an 0-1 record with an ERA over eight. It wouldn’t be until his third call up and his sixth game that he would record his first major league win. He would end the season 3-3 with an ERA of 5.26 in 17 appearances (10 starts).
This season, Clevinger is off to a very hot start. He started the season opener for the Clippers throwing six innings giving up one run in the no-decision. Since then he has continued his hot hand going 2-0 with an ERA of 0.00 this past week. He allowed just seven hits and three walks in his 13 innings of work. His 17 strikeouts in that span now give him 25 which is good for first place in the International League. Clevinger’s two wins puts him in second place behind Toledo’s Blaine Hardy and Durham’s Justin Marks who each have three.
Although there isn’t currently a spot in the Indian’s rotation for Clevinger, you have to think that at some point if he continues to produce the way he is, he will be back at the major league level.
As is the case anytime you look for a Player of the Week for an entire league, there are bound to be several other deserving candidates. John Hicks who is a catcher for the Durham Bulls had a great week going 8-for-17 with seven RBI. Daniel Palka of the Rochester Red Wings, thanks to a 4-for-4 on Sunday, finished the week with six hits with two being home runs. Louisville Bat’s Sebastian Elizalde and his league leading 18 hits, recorded 11 of them this week. He is another player that could find himself playing in the MLB very soon.
Congratulations to Mike Clevinger on being named Legend on Deck International League Player of the Week.