On Tuesday, the Cleveland Indians placed right-handed starting pitcher Mike Clevinger on the 10-day injured list with an upper back strain. Indians manager Terry Francona told reporters, including The Athletic's Zack Meisel, that Clevinger won't be able to pick up a baseball for six-to-eight weeks.

"We need to allow our trainers, the doctors, Clev, the chance to kind of put their heads together and see, does he see another doctor? Things like that," Francona told reporters on Tuesday. "But we do know that it's probably going to be 6-8 weeks before we're even looking at him picking up a ball. So, it's significant."

Clevinger (1-0) didn't allow a run in his two starts against the Chicago White Sox and Toronto Blue Jays, and he struck out 22 in 12 innings of work. As MLB Network's Jon Morosi notes, Clevinger is one of two MLB pitchers with 20-plus strikeouts in 10-plus scoreless innings in 2019 with the other being New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom.

In Sunday's start, Clevinger left after just five innings with tightness. The Indians shared further information on Clevinger's injury:

The Indians called up right-hander Nick Wittgren, who made eight relief appearances this spring and posted a 3.86 ERA, from Triple-A. He'll fill the roster opening but he's obviously not going to fill Clevinger's role. Even if it's best-case scenario re: Clevinger's recovery and rehab, his absence still leaves a long-term hole in the rotation and the club is going to need to find another pitcher. Their best in-house options of Adam Plutko and Danny Salazar are both currently on the injured list; Plutko with a strained right forearm and Salazar recovering from arthroscopic right shoulder surgery. They could call up Chih-Wei Hu, Cody Anderson or Jefry Rodriguez for the No. 5 rotation spot.

Hindsight is 20/20 but might it have been worth it for Cleveland to be more aggressive this past offseason? Probably. This winter, the Indians had a lot of payroll-shedding moves, and not a lot of signings to make the team better. They traded Edwin Encarnacion and Yan Gomes, while losing Michael Brantley, Josh Donaldson, Andrew Miller and Cody Allen via free agency. And yes, they're still the favorites in the American League Central. But when you add together the offense they lost in the offseason with the fact that their franchise shortstop Francisco Lindor and second baseman Jason Kipnis are both possibly out until May, and now Clevinger's injury, the Indians could be at risk for an early season slump.