Clevinger to start Cactus League opener Friday

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Terry Francona confirmed on Tuesday at Tribe camp that right-hander Mike Clevinger will start for the club's Cactus League exhibition opener Friday at Goodyear Ballpark when the Indians battle the Cincinnati Reds. First pitch is set for 3:05 pm ET and can be heard on Newsradio WTAM 1100.

Clevinger, 27, is in a competition with Danny Salazar, Josh Tomlin, Ryan Merritt for the final two spots in the Indians starting pitching rotation. Merritt will also see game action on Friday and is expected to enter the game after Clevinger.

LISTEN: Terry Francona's daily media briefing on Tue., February 20.

Feb. 20 Terry Francona press conference

Photo by Nick Camino / Newsradio WTAM 1100

It is unclear as to how long Clevinger and Merritt will pitch on Friday, but it likely will not be more than two innings of work against the Reds. 

Francona did admit while the spring training exhibition games are a bit early this year, this will give him and the coaching staff plenty of time to see players, especially individuals competing for jobs on the 25-man roster.

The Tribe's second spring training game is slated for Saturday, Feb. 24 at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale when they take on the Arizona Diamondbacks.

- Nick Camino

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