Adam Plutko Rips Clevinger, Plesac for Breaking COVID Rules, Lying to Teammates

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 12, 2020

Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Adam Plutko delivers in the first inning in a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Tony Dejak/Associated Press

Cleveland Indians pitcher Adam Plutko lashed out at teammates Mike Clevinger and Zach Plesac for breaking MLB's COVID-19 protocols during the club's weekend series in Chicago.

Plutko told reporters Tuesday both players will have to regain trust after returning from the restricted list:

"They hurt us bad. They lied to us. They sat here in front of you guys and publicly said things that they didn't follow through on. It's gonna be up to them. It really is. I'll let them sit here and tell you how they're gonna earn their trust back.

"I don't need to put words in their mouths. The term that I continue to hear—and excuse my language—is 'grown-ass man.' So those grown-ass men can sit here and tell you guys what happened and tell you guys what they're gonna do to fix it. I don't need to do that for them."

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported Clevinger and Plesac went out together after Saturday's 7-1 win over the Chicago White Sox. Plesac pitched six scoreless innings with seven strikeouts in the contest.

Both players have since released statements of apology.

"I understand that in these times of uncertainty, I need to be more vigilant and responsible," Plesac said. "I am determined to earn my teammates' forgiveness and get back to work."

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Clevinger, who continued to travel with the Indians until his role in Saturday night's outing was discovered Monday, said he understands the broken trust:

"There is an implicit trust that each of my teammates share as we navigate a season during this pandemic, and I broke that trust. In Chicago, I made the mistake of violating the protocols but the biggest mistake of all was not immediately coming clean to my teammates.

"I owe them better. I now realize that by even exposing myself to just one person more than necessary, I am putting myself, my teammates, the guys I compete against, the umpires, the staff, the Indians organization as well as the game that I love at risk. There is no excuse for my actions, and I can only take responsibility and learn from my mistakes."

Neither player will be eligible to return to Cleveland's active roster until at least Friday.

The team hosts the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday before traveling for a three-game road series against the Detroit Tigers that begins Friday.

Cleveland is third in the AL Central with a 10-8 record as clubs approach the one-third mark of the shortened 60-game regular season.