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In eight career appearances against Detroit, including five starts, Plutko is 4-0 with a 4.09 ERA.
Clevinger and Zach Plesac, who also violated COVID-19 protocols, are currently at the team’s alternate training site in Lake County (Ohio).
Plutko criticized both players after his last outing.
“They hurt us bad,” Plutko told Cleveland.com. “They lied to us. They sat here in front of you guys and publicly said things that they didn’t follow through on.”
Right-hander Michael Fulmer (0-0, 6.35 ERA) will make his third start this season for Detroit. Fulmer is on an innings limit after recovering from Tommy John surgery.
He held the Chicago White Sox scoreless in a three-inning stint on Monday. His fastball topped out at 96 mph, an encouraging sign.
“This day was going to eventually come. I’m glad it came now,” Fulmer said to MLB.com. “(Pitching coach) Rick (Anderson) and I have been working quite a bit these last two weeks, and I give him credit for helping me with some things that hopefully will continue forward.”
Fulmer is 2-4 with a 6.62 ERA in eight career starts against the Indians.
Left-hander Tyler Alexander will likely follow Fulmer. The Tigers would prefer to use Daniel Norris in that role but they needed Norris to come in relief on Friday when Ivan Nova was ineffective.
“Danny threw (almost) two innings, so we’ll probably use Alexander now,” Gardenhire said to the Detroit News. “We really need length.”
Detroit has dropped its last four games and learned earlier on Saturday that first baseman C.J. Cron would miss the remainder of the season. Cron injured his left knee fielding a grounder on Monday and opted for season-ending surgery. Jeimer Candelario has moved from third to first and Gardenhire will likely use a platoon at third.
–Field Level Media