CLEVELAND, Ohio — Aaron Civale wasted no time setting the bar high for Cleveland Indians starting pitchers with his spring training debut Saturday in Goodyear, Ariz.
Civale tossed two perfect innings and then some of a simulated game that was originally slated to go three frames. Manager Terry Francona said Civale was so efficient that he stayed on the mound to face an extra hitter after each of his innings.
“That’s fine,” Francona said. “I hope we have to do that all the time.”
Civale’s final line was 2 2/3 innings, with no runs, hits or walks allowed and a pair of strikeouts. For a guy who came to summer camp last July ready to throw 102 pitches from the get-go after the COVID-19 quarantine, Civale’s results Saturday really aren’t that surprising.
“Knowing Aaron the way we do and how conscientious he is, the repetitions he gets, he’s gonna get nothing but better,” Francona said.
The Indians skipper also suggested that Civale might not be getting the credit he deserves. Francona disputes those outside Cleveland’s bubble who think the 25-year-old righty’s ceiling is as a No. 5 starter or somebody worthy of only a spot start in a rotation.
Civale told reporters last week that he refined his mechanics in the offseason, shortening his arm path and sharpening his changeup. Francona said the changes allow him to achieve better balance and to be on time where his arm is catching…