CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Indians have reinstated pitchers Zach Plesac and Mike Clevinger from the restricted list after they both violated the team’s rules and Major League Baseball’s protocols by leaving their hotel in Chicago last Saturday, and have optioned the two to the team’s alternate training site in Lake County, according to the team.
Plesac was sent back to Cleveland in a car service after the team learned he had gone out with his friends in Chicago. The team learned later that Clevinger had also gone out with Plesac, but not until after he flew back to Cleveland with his teammates, coaches and other staff.
The two were both placed on the restricted list, which permits teams to use the restricted list for players who are unavailable to play for non-baseball reasons.
Indians president Chris Antonetti said that Plesac and Clevinger drove to Detroit Thursday night to meet with the team and had a discussion surrounding their violations. Following the discussion, the team ultimately chose to option them to the minor league affiliate in Lake County.
Plesac took to Instagram on Thursday to post a video, which he deleted Friday evening, voicing his displeasure on the media coverage surrounding the violations he and Clevinger had been reported for.
While he didn’t deny breaking the team’s code of conduct implemented to keep players safe, Plesac said reports about him and Clevinger have not been fair.
“The media is terrible, man,” Plesac said in the video. “They do some evil things to create stories and make things sound better and make things sound worse.”
Plesac said he and Clevinger were within CDC guidelines when they left the team hotel and were never with “more than eight people the entire night,” although the league's protocols are not directly correlated with CDC guidelines.
In the video, he said he believes he and Clevinger are being cast as “bad teammates, bad people and dragged across the mud.”
Plesac said he understands the risks with COVID-19 and that his brother has Type 1 Diabetes and his mother is a nurse.
“It breaks my heart for people to think I’m a bad teammate or a bad person. But I wanted to share with you guys that moving forward, there’s a selflessness lesson taught here and at the end of the day, I want everybody to be healthy. I want to be a good teammate. I want to win baseball games, man. That’s all I want to do.”
On Friday, Indians manager Terry Francona discussed the video Plesac posted and kept his response short and simple.
"I was disappointed,” Francona said.
Antonetti also spoke out about Plesac’s video and said he thinks the point Plesac was trying to make was lost in the video.
"I'm not sure Zach was able to convey what he intended to convey in the video, after having a chance to speak with him afterwards. If he had a do-over, he may have said things a bit differently,” Antonetti said.