Cleveland is in complete control in the AL Central, leading second-place Minnesota by 12 1/2 games coming into the day. But any lingering issue with Bauer could hurt its chances of advancing in the playoffs.
Bauer was struck by Jose Abreu's liner in the seventh inning of Saturday night's 3-1 win at the Chicago White Sox. He returned to Cleveland after experiencing soreness and swelling, and an MRI revealed the injury.
Bauer is one of the top candidates for the AL Cy Young Award. The 27-year-old right-hander is 12-6 with a 2.22 ERA in 25 starts. This is his first career DL stint.
''Knowing Trev, he'll keep his arm in shape and he'll be raring to go whenever he's ready,'' Indians manager Terry Francona said before their game against Cincinnati. ''There's never a good time. But he'll keep his arm good and strong.''
Plutko is 4-2 with a 4.75 ERA in nine appearances.
Francona said right-hander Josh Tomlin is another candidate to be inserted into the rotation, but would need to be stretched out. Tomlin could return this week from a hamstring strain.
Francona said he texted with Bauer on Tuesday afternoon.
''He said he was sorry,'' Francona said, laughing. ''You feel for him. He has put himself in such a good place.''
Bauer leads the AL with 166 innings pitched while ranking second with 214 strikeouts and third in ERA.
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