Shane Bieber placed on injured list

CLEVELAND — The Indians’ rotation has yet another hurdle to overcome. But this one will be the most challenging.

Cleveland ace Shane Bieber was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right shoulder subscapularis muscle strain, Indians manager Terry Francona announced prior to Monday’s game. He’ll go without throwing for two weeks and then will be re-evaluated. In a corresponding move, the team recalled right-handed reliever Kyle Nelson from Triple-A Columbus.

“He didn’t want to go on the IL,” Francona said. “That’s the kind of teammate he is. We said, ‘We want you to have a long healthy career.’ And we don’t want him limping through it. That’s not fair to him.”

Bieber didn’t have his usual stuff in Sunday afternoon’s outing against the Mariners. His fastball velocity was down a tick and his curveball didn’t have the same spin that he’s been used to. He struggled through May, specifically with his curve and slider, but he had rebounded enough to post a 1.80 ERA in his previous three starts leading into Sunday. But when things didn’t quite feel right, he took it upon himself to reach out to the team’s medical staff after the game.

Cleveland had already lost Zach Plesac to a thumb fracture, and it had two other holes in the rotation it was looking to fill. Now, Aaron Civale is the last original starter standing, as the rest of the rotation will need to be pieced together over the next few weeks. For now, Jean Carlos Mejía and Cal Quantrill look like they’ll continue to start. From there, Eli Morgan and Scott Moss could be the next options coming up from Triple-A. But there’s no hiding that the team’s starting depth has quickly been washed away.

“We’re going to talk to our guys later because we’re going to have to be flexible,” Francona said. “We’re going to have to be a little creative.”

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