The Indians have placed ace Shane Bieber on the 10-day injured list due to a right shoulder subscapularis muscle strain, per a club announcement. Young lefty Kyle Nelson is up from Triple-A Columbus to take Bieber’s spot on the active roster. Manager Terry Francona tells reporters that Bieber won’t throw for the next two weeks (Twitter link via Camryn Justice of ABC News 5 in Cleveland).
Even a short-term absence for Bieber is a brutal blow for the Indians, who are six games over .500 but also five and a half games back of the White Sox for the division lead. The Indians are also currently without righty Zach Plesac due to a fractured thumb, leaving Aaron Civale as the most established option in their ailing rotation.
Cleveland has also given looks to youngsters Triston McKenzie, Cal Quantrill, Logan Allen, Sam Hentges and Jean Carlos Mejia so far in 2021. No one from that group has proven himself to be a reliable option just yet, but the Indians will nevertheless need to tap further into that depth with Bieber on the shelf.
It’s been another strong season for Bieber, albeit one that’s not quite on par with last year’s utter dominance in a Cy Young-winning effort. Bieber leads the major leagues with 90 2/3 innings pitched, and he’s worked to a 3.28 ERA with a 33.9 percent strikeout rate that ranks seventh in the majors.