Clevinger looks to build on Minors success

Righty gets start in place of injured Kluber on Sunday

Clevinger looks to build on Minors success

KANSAS CITY -- With a heavy load of luggage, Mike Clevinger arrived at Kauffman Stadium three hours before first pitch on Saturday. The right-hander had a day to settle in before he'll make his Major League season debut Sunday against the Royals.

Clevinger is filling in for Corey Kluber, who was placed on the 10-disabled list Wednesday with a lower back strain. The Indians liked what they saw from Clevinger in his six starts at Triple-A Columbus. The 26-year-old compiled a 1.50 ERA in 30 innings. Now it's time to find out whether that performance will translate into productivity at the Major League level.

Clevinger was optioned to Triple-A Columbus on March 26. The time at Columbus has enabled him to smooth out some rough edges.

"I wasn't too happy with the end of my spring," Clevinger said. "I felt like I started out really strong. I was controlling the ball really well, but then I got out of my mechanics a little bit. I was throwing across my body, making me jerk."

At Columbus, Clevinger has worked to correct the flaw.

"I accomplished the goals that were helpful," Clevinger said. "It's about commanding the fastball and really about commanding all three pitches. There were some real simple adjustments. Probably to the naked eye, you wouldn't even notice."

Clevinger hasn't been told anything about his short-term future beyond Sunday's start.

"Just compete," Clevinger said. "That's about it."

Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com based in Kansas City and covered the Indians on Saturday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.