Indians ace Shane Bieber to take next step in rehab this weekend

Published: Aug. 12, 2021 at 4:29 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND (AP) — Cleveland Indians pitcher Shane Bieber is scheduled to throw off a mound for the first time since straining his right shoulder June 13.

President of baseball operations Chris Antonetti said the right-hander is expected to have a bullpen session Friday or Saturday when the Indians are in Detroit.

Bieber, the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner, said last week he still believes he’ll pitch again this season even though his rehabilitation has taken longer than expected. Bieber is 7-4 with a 3.28 ERA in 14 starts.

The Indians have said Bieber has a strain in his rotator cuff. His velocity had noticeably dropped over his last few starts before the team decided to give him a rest. Bieber was 8-1 in the shortened 2020 season and led the majors in wins, ERA (1.63) and strikeouts (122).

Right-hander Aaron Civale is scheduled to pitch a simulated game Friday at Class A Lake County. He was tied for the major league lead with 10 wins when he sprained his right middle finger June 22.

“Both are continuing to progress,” Antonetti said. “Aaron’s ahead of where Shane is at this point in his progression.”

Rookie right-hander Nick Sandlin, who strained his shoulder Wednesday against Oakland, was placed on the 10-day injured list. Antonetti said Sandlin would have an MRI on Thursday Sandlin has become a reliable part of Cleveland’s bullpen, going 1-1 with a 2.94 ERA in 34 appearances.

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