CLEVELAND, Ohio — This is Adam Plutko’s second spring training without a minor-league option next to his name. It means the Indians must keep him on their 26-man roster come opening day or part ways through waivers or a trade.
Plutko has spent parts of the last four seasons with the Indians. He’s proven his versatility, helping in the rotation and bullpen. But basically, he’s a starter trying to make a rotation loaded with promising arms.
Manager Terry Francona and Plutko did not avoid his roster status in their one-on-one meetings earlier in the week.
“The first thing we told him was, ‘The elephant in the room is that you’re out of options so let’s just admit that and be open about it,’” said Francona.
Plutko trained like a starter over the offseason. He’ll be stretched out like one in camp. He’s scheduled to start Tuesday against Seattle. But as camp moves toward the middle of March, Francona said decisions will have to be made because there are only so many innings to go around for the rotation. In other words, the starters will continue to start to gain arm strength, while the other pitchers go to the bullpen or get optioned to the minors.
“We told Adam when we get to a certain point in spring training and we need to make a decision, we’ll communicate that with him, whether he continues to stretch out or we transition him…