Cleveland Indians ace and reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Shane Bieber said last month that he wanted to return to the mound "as soon as possible" from the right shoulder sprain that's kept him out of action since June 13 even though Cleveland likely wouldn't be pursuing playoff baseball by the opening of the fall months.
Cleveland won't have an October to remember this time around, but Bieber is getting his wish.
According to Mandy Bell of the club's website, Bieber completed two Minor League rehab starts and will take the bump for Friday's home game against the Chicago White Sox.
"We’ll definitely have a pitch count on him," acting Cleveland manager DeMarlo Hale told reporters. "We haven’t established that yet, but it won’t be too big of a jump from the rehab game there in the Minor Leagues to the big leagues. I wouldn’t expect it to be a 20-25 pitch jump. Twelve to 15 at the most. We’re gonna see how the game unfolds anyway through the first three or four innings."
Bieber was 7-4 with a 3.28 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, and 130 strikeouts in 14 starts and 90.2 innings of work this season when he was first injured.