Danny Salazar injury opens up rotation spot for Mike Clevinger

Cleveland Indians pitcher Danny Salazar will be sidelined at the start of the regular season because of a shoulder injury, opening a rotation spot for Mike Clevinger.

Indians manager Terry Francona confirmed Monday that Salazar is "not going to be ready" for the start of the season as he deals with inflammation in his pitching shoulder.

Salazar is a few weeks behind his originally scheduled throwing program but threw from 90 feet Monday, prompting Francona to say that the hard-throwing right-hander is "going in the right direction."

Francona did not say when Salazar will pitch in a spring training game but said he could resume throwing from a mound in a few days.

Salazar's injury provides an opportunity for Clevinger, who emerged as a reliable starter for Cleveland last season. Francona acknowledged that Clevinger is "going to be in the rotation" after the 6-foot-4 right-hander had six strikeouts over three scoreless innings in his spring start against the Dodgers.

"We're looking for 'Clev' to have a big year," Francona said. "He's strong, and he should be able to be that innings-eater type pitcher."

Clevinger, 27, went 12-6 with a 3.11 ERA in 27 games -- 21 starts -- for the Indians last season, recording 137 strikeouts in 121⅔ innings.