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Indians starter Mike Clevinger shut down for 6-8 weeks with back strain

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Indians starter Mike Clevinger was dominant in his first two outings of the season but now he’s going to spend a long, long time on the shelf: the club just announced that Clevinger is going on the Injured List with a right upper back/Teres major muscle strain. The move is retroactive to April 8.

Terry Francona says that Clevinger is not even expected to pick up a ball for six to eight weeks, and after all of that time he’s going to need to ramp back up. So it could be close to three months before he’s back in game action, assuming no setbacks.

Clevinger has struck out 22 batters in 12 innings and has not allowed an earned run on the young season. His last outing was cut short, however, as he strained his back. It didn’t seem serious at the time but it’s obviously pretty major.

In the meantime, the Tribe has called up Nick Wittgren from Columbus to take Clevinger’s turn in the rotation Saturday. The long term plan is unclear at the moment.