Plutko appears to the be leading candidate to take the hill for the Indians when the club next requires a fifth starter June 12 against the White Sox, Jordan Bastian of reports.

With a few off days on tap over the next two weeks, the Indians will get by with a four-man rotation for the time being, allowing the club to stash Plutko at Triple-A Columbus. Plutko proved to be an upgrade over Josh Tomlin while making three spot starts for the Tribe in May, going 3-0 with a 3.93 ERA and 1.04 WHIP across 18.1 innings. Plutko wasn't without his warts in those outings, however, as he served up five home runs and struck out only 12 batters. The lack of strikeout stuff and vulnerability to the long ball suggest regression could be in store for Plutko, but his solid surface numbers thus far seem to give him an edge over Triple-A teammate Shane Bieber for the final vacancy in the Cleveland rotation. Bieber, who gave up four runs in 5.2 innings in a spot start Thursday in Minnesota before being optioned back to Triple-A, is regarded as the better prospect of the two and boasts stellar command and control, so it wouldn't be surprising if he eventually settles in as the fifth starter over Plutko later this season.

More News
Our Latest Stories