FORT MYERS, Fla. — While the Twins are easing into the first few days of Camp Rocco with pitchers and catchers workouts, their division rivals got a serving of bad news.
Mike Clevinger, one of the stars in Cleveland’s rotation, will be sidelined indefinitely after knee surgery to repair a partially torn left meniscus. The Indians announced that a timeline for return to the mound would be decided after the operation.
How long will he be out? Every injury can be different, and so recovery timelines aren’t always precise when estimated by us outsiders. With that said, Craig Calcaterra of NBC Sports pointed out that Jake Arrieta had meniscus surgery around this time of the year and was ready for the first week of the season; and Craig Kimbrel missed 7 weeks in 2016 after a meniscus surgery.
Still, we don’t know the severity of a partial tear so it’s probably best not to blindly guess about his return.
If Clevinger misses any time — or even if a missed spring training causes any ill effects in April — it would be a blow for Cleveland. He’s a star pitcher in a rotation that traded Corey Kluber to the Texas Rangers this winter. And if the Indians are going to overtake the Twins in the A.L. Central, they’ll likely need more injury luck than they got last season. And they’ll likely also need Clevinger and Shane Bieber to be forces at the top of the starting rotation.