The final score was a 4-3 victory in favor of the Cubs, but Plesac was bright spot on the day.
He was off to a rough start this spring and had his longest outing of the month so far with five innings against the Cubs lineup.
Plesac went his five innings, allowing one earned run on four hits.
The young right-hander also struck out four while walking zero.
Zach Plesac's Changeup Grip.
Watch the Full YT Video for all of his Grips plus a bunch of other good stuff…including a breakdown of his immaculate inning last year.
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) March 19, 2021
Five Strong Innings From Plesac
Spring training stats are not something to panic about.
Indians fans know Plesac is the second or third starter in this rotation and that won’t change based on any spring struggles.
But he did allow a combined total of seven earned runs in his first three spring starts.
That made Thursday’s outing a nice return to normal in his longest outing so far.
He made it through five innings as the starters begin to get more work with the season right around the corner.
Not walking any batters was a nice sign as well after he gave up a combined four walks in his previous two short outings.
Plesac will hopefully take a huge leap forward in 2021.
5 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K.
— FOX Sports Cleveland (@FOXSportsCLE) March 18, 2021
Unfortunately, the main story surrounding him in 2020 had to do with him breaking COVID protocols, alongside former Indians pitcher Mike Clevinger.
At least Plesac didn’t lie about it.
He had a nice season on the mound still and finished with a 2.28 ERA in his eight starts.
His K/9 shot up from 6.8 to 9.3 and fans will now be excited to see what he can do in a full season.
The most starts Plesac has made in a year were the 21 he made in his 2019 debut season.
Other Positives in the Loss
Thursday’s loss to Chicago also saw James Karinchak pitch a clean inning of relief with two strikeouts.
Phil Maton had one strikeout as well in his inning out of the bullpen.
Both outfielders remain question marks just two weeks away from the season.
They are competing for time in right field and Johnson should have the better path to a job given his status as a young prospect in the organization.
Gamel is on the team as a non-roster veteran player.
Josh Naylor should be the favorite out there, but we also don’t know what the status is at first base, where he could see time as well if the other options fall flat.
Plesac had a nice outing and the starting pitchers are getting back to a normal workload.
That signals the season will be here before we know it.