Add the latest entry to the book chronicling bizarre baseball injuries.
Cleveland manager Terry Francona said Tuesday the team will place right-handed starter Zach Plesac on the injured list because of a non-displaced fracture of his right thumb. The 26-year old suffered the injury while “rather aggressively ripping off his shirt” and catching his thumb on a chair in the locker room Sunday.
Plesac started Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Twins at Progressive Field, allowing five runs in 3⅔ innings. When the swelling in Plesac’s thumb failed to subside on Monday, he underwent an X-ray that revealed the fracture.
“He called [athletic trainer] James Quinlan, and James called me,” Francona said. “It was pretty swollen yesterday. … As you can imagine, our wheels started to turn.”
Plesac will meet with hand specialist Dr. Thomas Graham on Wednesday to learn more about the prognosis.
Plesac’s injury puts the Cleveland rotation in a bind, with right-hander Triston McKenzie demoted on Saturday. Cleveland already planned to use a bullpen game to fill McKenzie’s turn in the rotation Wednesday but will need a starter on Friday to fill Plesac’s turn. The Indians also will need to find a starter on Monday when they will play a doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox.
Currently, the rotation features Shane Bieber, Aaron Civale and rookie Sam Hentges, with the other two spots in the rotation free. Options the Indians might consider to fill those open starts include Jean Carlos Mejia, who has made two relief appearances in the majors, Scott Moss and Eli Morgan.
So far this season, Plesac is 4-3 through 10 starts, featuring a 4.14 ERA and 1.02 WHIP.
ESPN’s David Schoenfield contributed to this report.