"It wasn't too bad," Kluber said with a grin. "You can make it work. It's better than not being here."
The Indians purchased the contract of Plutko from Triple-A Columbus on Tuesday, and designated lefty TJ House for assignment to clear a spot on the 40-man roster. Plutko will offer the Indians some insurance in the wake of the injuries to Danny Salazar (right forearm) and Carlos Carrasco (right hand).
Plutko, 24, is rated as the Tribe's 14th-best prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com. In 161 2/3 innings between Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus this year, the right-hander went 9-8 with a 3.73 ERA and 130 strikeouts against 46 walks. Plutko went 6-5 with a 4.10 ERA in 15 starts for Columbus.
Cleveland's rotation now consists of Kluber, Trevor Bauer, Josh Tomlin and Mike Clevinger. The fifth spot will be come up on Saturday and again on Sept. 29, and the Indians plan on using the bullpen-day approach for at least the first of those two games. Righty Cody Anderson will start against the White Sox on Saturday, but will not pitch deep into the contest.
Plutko can potentially provide multi-inning insurance for a Tribe bullpen that has 14 arms at the moment. After Carrasco was injured on Saturday night, eight relievers were pressed into duty, logging 10 shutout innings to set the stage for a 1-0, 10-inning win over Detroit.
Plutko last pitched on Sept. 7 in Columbus' first-round playoff game against Gwinnett.
House, 26, has gone 5-7 with a 4.44 ERA in 27 games (22 starts) in parts of the 2014-16 seasons with the Indians. The lefty had a 3.98 ERA in 33 games (12 starts) for Triple-A Columbus this year, and turned in a 3.38 ERA in four games with Cleveland. House played an important role for the Tribe in '14, when he posted a 3.35 ERA in 19 games as a rookie starter for the club.
Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.