usatsi-11253362-mike-clevinger-indians-2018-1400.jpg

Cleveland announced Friday that it was activating starting pitchers Mike Clevinger and Zach Plesac from the restricted list, but also that the team was optioning the duo to the alternate training site with the taxi squad. The pair of pitchers was placed on the restricted list after the club learned that they went out instead of staying in their hotel rooms on a road trip in Chicago this past weekend, breaking COVID-19 protocols in the process. Plesac left the team to drive back to Cleveland, but Clevinger didn't admit it until after he flew back with the team. 

The move to option them can't be performance-related. Plesac has a 1.29 ERA and 0.67 WHIP in three starts. Clevinger has an excellent track record and has a 3.24 ERA in three starts this season. 

Some of the teammates of Plesac and Clevinger have been vocal in calling them out in the aftermath of what happened. Specifically, pitcher Adam Plutko said the following

"They hurt us bad. They lied to us. They sat here in front of you guys and publicly said things that they didn't follow through on."

Plesac Thursday posted a six-plus minute video -- while he was driving, mind you -- talking about the situation. He didn't apologize, but instead blamed "the media." 

Reporting around the situation shows the clubhouse is continuing to have issues with both players, too, so it's possible this demotion is due to that. Sure enough, general manager Chris Antonetti said the following: 

As things stand, two good major-league pitchers are heading to the alternate training site in the middle of a shortened season. It wasn't "the media" who told them to go out and break protocol and now their team suffers. 

Maybe the demotion will offer Plesac and Clevinger some perspective. In the meantime, their team has lost two straight games and is tied for the final AL playoff spot at present with the White Sox