Indians decide to option Zach Plesac, Mike Clevinger to alternate site

Plesac's punishment could serve as warning to other MLB players (1:16)

Indians pitcher Zach Plesac was sent back to Cleveland for violating COVID-19 health protocols, which could serve as a warning to other players. (1:16)

The Cleveland Indians activated pitchers Zach Plesac and Mike Clevinger from the restricted list Friday and optioned them to the team's alternate training site.

The pitchers had been placed on the restricted list Tuesday for violating Major League Baseball protocols related to the coronavirus pandemic. Plesac and Clevinger will have to be at the team's alternate training site for at least 10 days, per MLB rules.

Chris Antonetti, Cleveland's president of baseball operations, said both players had driven to Detroit with their playing equipment and met with teammates Friday ahead of their three-game series against the Tigers this weekend.

Antonetti, manager Terry Francona and general manager Mike Chernoff then met and decided that it was best to option Plesac and Clevinger to the alternate site instead of allowing them to rejoin the team.

"We spent time thinking about what gives our team the best chance to win tonight," Antonetti said, according to Cleveland.com. "In order to be the best team we can be, we made the decisions we did to option them to the alternate site."

Plesac posted a six-minute video on his Instagram page Thursday to "get out the truth" to fans, saying he and Clevinger were being unfairly portrayed as "bad teammates, bad people and dragged across the mud."

Francona said Friday that he was "disappointed" by Plesac's video. Antonetti said that if Plesac "had a do-over, he may have said things a bit differently."

Plesac acknowledged breaking team curfew Saturday when he and Clevinger left the team hotel, went out to dinner and socialized with Plesac's friends. Plesac had pitched earlier in the day, getting the win as Cleveland beat the Chicago White Sox.

After the Indians were told by MLB security about the players being out in public, the team got a car service to drive Plesac home so he wouldn't risk being exposed to teammates if he had been infected with the coronavirus.

Clevinger didn't tell the organization he was with Plesac and flew home with the team.

On Tuesday, Indians pitcher Adam Plutko said Plesac and Clevinger had "hurt us bad. They lied to us." On Wednesday, Francona said Plesac and Clevinger have "got some trust to earn back, and they're gonna have to earn that back."

Antonetti was asked if there are still hard feeling in the clubhouse toward the pair.

"We're all a family," Antonetti said. "We spend a lot of time together. Sometimes there are challenges in families you have to work through. I'd use that analogy as it applies here. There are things that have happened over the course of the last week that have been less than ideal and people have some thoughts and feelings about that."

Plesac said Thursday that he and Clevinger were within Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines when they left the team hotel and were never with "more than eight people the entire night."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.