Indians face Angels again, hoping Plesac rebounds

Mike Trout's status for Tuesday's game between the Los Angeles Angels and Cleveland Indians was unclear, as the Angels' star center fielder is listed as day-to-day as he recovers from a right foot injury.

He had a procedure the day before to alleviate pain related to a neuroma in the foot.

"I'm not in the medical field, but it's a buildup of tissue around the nerve that causes pain," Angels manager Brad Ausmus told reporters Monday. "He had a cryoablation that deadens the tissue, deadens the nerve area. So, he'll miss a couple days, but we don't expect him to miss more than a couple days. But that's why he's not in the lineup."

Trout has not been in the starting lineup since Friday's game against the White Sox. In the three games since, the Angels have started Brian Goodwin (Saturday and Monday) and Michael Hermosillo (Sunday) in center.

Zach Plesac (7-6, 3.98 ERA) will start on the mound for Cleveland, knowing that it's the time of year where "working through issues" is not an option.

The Indians find themselves in the heat of a three-team race for two American League wild-card spots, but his last two times on the mound have not been good.

In a loss to Tampa Bay on Aug. 31 and a loss to the White Sox on Sept. 6, Plesac gave up a combined 10 runs on 14 hits in 10 innings. Three of the 14 hits were home runs.

"When he missed his spots, he paid for it," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "There's been times when he doesn't (pay for it), just because he's got some life to his fastball. ... Sometimes he still wants to be so quick to the plate he rushes through, and then he loses the ability to throw the ball where he wants to."

Plesac, though, has it in him to give Francona and the Indians what they need. In his 18 starts this season, Plesac has pitched into the sixth inning 10 times. And he's allowed two earned runs or fewer in 11 games.

Plesac is a 24-year-old rookie who has never faced the Angels. As recently as last season he was pitching in Class-A ball, but he'll have more major league experience than Jose Suarez (2-5, 6.45), the Angels' scheduled starter.

Suarez, 21, also is a rookie and has 15 major league games (13 starts) under his belt. Like Plesac, Suarez pitched in Class-A as recently as last season. Also like Plesac, Suarez started the season pitching effectively before faltering in the latter half.

Suarez, though, bounced back and had a strong performance his last time out. Entering the game in the second inning after the Angels used an opener in the first inning, Suarez held the Oakland A's scoreless until the seventh when he gave up a two-run home run to Josh Phegley.

Suarez's improvement might have had to do with the discovery that he was possibly tipping pitches. Angels coaches noticed that Suarez held his glove in a different position during his delivery depending on what pitch he was throwing. So he has been working lately on making his delivery consistent despite his pitch selection.

"I didn't realize my glove was a problem," Suarez told the Los Angeles Times. "But up here, there are cameras everywhere. People notice things easily.

"You're so focused in-game, on the batter, or on the runner, you lose track of your mechanics. I take a breath, try to go back to where I'm comfortable, and I help myself. But a lot of times you focus too much on the batters, the runner."

--Field Level Media
Copyright © 2020 ESPN Internet Ventures. All rights reserved.