CLEVELAND The Cleveland Indians placed starters Mike Clevinger and Zach Plesac on the restricted list Tuesday after the pitchers broke team rules by leaving their hotel in Chicago last weekend and risked exposure to the COVID-19 virus.
Clevinger and Plesac went out Saturday night with a group of people following the Indians’ win over the White Sox. The team had implemented a code of conduct for players to follow on the road, forbidding them from socializing outside of team staff.
The Indians immediately sent Plesac home in a car service after learning of his violation, but the Indians were not aware Clevinger had been with him until after he flew back to Cleveland with his teammates, coaches and other personnel.
Both pitchers remain in quarantine. It’s not immediately clear when they’ll be back. Major League Baseball permits teams to use the restricted list for players who are unavailable to play for non-baseball reasons.
Clevinger and Plesac can’t take part in any team baseball activities until they test negative twice in 72 hours, but it appears the Indians want to keep them away as punishment.
Clevinger had been scheduled to pitch Tuesday’s two-game series opener at home against the Cubs.
Team President Chris Antonetti and manager Terry Francona, who is returning after missing eight games with a medical issue, are expected to comment on the pitchers before the game.
The Indians were disappointed in Clevinger and Plesac, who have both pitched well for one of baseball’s best staffs. But their behavior put them and their teammates at risk of contracting the coronavirus, which brought baseball to a standstill during spring training and continues to spread across the country.
The St Louis Cardinals have had numerous games postponed due to an outbreak of the virus on their team.
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