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Indians’ Shane Bieber placed on injured list with shoulder strain

Cleveland loses its ace to a shoulder injury.

MLB: Seattle Mariners at Cleveland Indians Photo by Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Indians have placed right-hander Shane Bieber on the injured list with a right shoulder subscapularis muscle strain. Bieber won’t throw for at least two weeks while he recovers:

Bieber, the 2020 AL Cy Young Award winner, has taken a bit of a step back in 2021, but he still leads the majors with 90.2 innings pitched and 130 strikeouts. He has a 3.28 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP over 14 starts this season, and he’s been crucial in keeping Cleveland above water, posting a 2.4 bWAR that ranks second on the team only to José Ramírez.

Bieber’s injury is a huge hit to Cleveland’s pitching staff, even if it’s rather short-term. Aaron Civale has been their only other consistent starting pitcher, with Zach Plesac getting injured, Triston McKenzie and Logan Allen pitching their way back to the minors, and fill-ins such as Sam Hentges, Jean Carlos Mejía, and Eli Morgan struggling when given opportunities. Reliever Kyle Nelson was recalled to replace Bieber on the 26-man roster, but it’s unclear who will replace the ace in the starting rotation.