Mike Clevinger

Michael Anthony Clevinger (born December 21, 1990) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Chicago White Sox of Major League Baseball (MLB). He has previously played in MLB for the Cleveland Indians and San Diego Padres. Clevinger made his MLB debut in 2016.

Mike Clevinger
Clevinger with the Cleveland Indians in 2020
Chicago White Sox – No. 52
Born: (1990-12-21) December 21, 1990
Jacksonville, Florida, U.S.
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
MLB debut
May 18, 2016, for the Cleveland Indians
MLB statistics
(through 2022 season)
Win–loss record51–30
Earned run average3.39

Early life and career

Clevinger was born on December 21, 1990, in Jacksonville, Florida.[1] He graduated from Wolfson High School in Jacksonville, Florida. He played college baseball at The Citadel before transferring to Seminole Community College after his freshman season.[2] After the 2011 season, he played collegiate summer baseball with the Cotuit Kettleers of the Cape Cod Baseball League.[3]

Professional career

Los Angeles Angels

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim selected Clevinger in the fourth round of the 2011 Major League Baseball draft.[4] He spent 2011 with the rookie-level Orem Owlz, then was promoted to the Cedar Rapids Kernels the following year, pitching in eight games. He had elbow reconstruction surgery, and as a result only pitched in three total games in 2013.[5]

Cleveland Indians

After pitching for two separate minor league organizations for the Angels in 2014, on August 7 he was traded to the Cleveland Indians for Vinnie Pestano.[6][7] Clevinger spent 2015 with the Double-A Akron RubberDucks, going 9–8 with a 2.73 earned run average (ERA). The Indians added him to their 40-man roster after the season.

Clevinger was called up by the Indians on May 18, 2016, and made his major league debut that evening.[8] He returned to the minor leagues after three starts, spending the next three months with the Columbus Clippers. Clevinger finished his time with Columbus with 11 wins, a loss, and a 3.00 ERA. He was called back up again on August 4, 2016, to start against the Minnesota Twins.[9] He finished the season appearing in 17 games, 10 of them starts, going 3–3 in 53 innings. After injuries to a few starters in 2017, Clevinger stepped into the rotation and proved to be an asset for the Indians going forward. He finished with a 12–6 record in 27 games, 21 starts. He struck out 137 batters in 121+23 innings.

On August 11, 2020, Clevinger and teammate Zach Plesac were placed on the restricted list by the Indians and sent home by the team after violating COVID-19 safety protocols.[10] Clevinger and Plesac faced significant backlash from teammates over their behavior, with Óliver Pérez announcing that he would leave the team if they returned to the roster. Teammates were also frustrated about potentially exposing Carlos Carrasco, who recently had leukemia, to the coronavirus.[11]

San Diego Padres

On August 31, 2020, the Indians traded Clevinger, along with Greg Allen and Matt Waldron to the San Diego Padres in exchange for Austin Hedges, Josh Naylor, Cal Quantrill, and minor league players Gabriel Arias, Owen Miller, and Joey Cantillo.[12] On November 15, 2020, Clevinger and the Padres agreed to a two-year contract extension, with annual salaries of $2 million in 2021 and $6.5 million in 2022, with a $3 million signing bonus. On the same day, it was announced that Clevinger would need to undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the 2021 season.[13] On February 18, 2021, Clevinger was placed on the 60-day injured list as he continued to recover from Tommy John surgery.[14]

Chicago White Sox

On December 4, 2022, Clevinger signed a one-year, $8 million dollar contract with the Chicago White Sox with a mutual option of $12 million for the 2024 season or a $4 million buyout.[15]

Pitching style

Clevinger's pitching repertoire includes a fastball he can throw as hard as 99 miles per hour, a curveball, a slider, and a changeup.[16][17]

Personal life

Clevinger has three daughters. The first daughter was born on May 2, 2016.[18] The second daughter was born on March 20, 2017.[19]

Clevinger's nickname is "Sunshine," one he received after teammates likened him to Ronnie "Sunshine" Bass from the film Remember the Titans.[20]

On January 24, 2023, Clevinger was placed under investigation by Major League Baseball for alleged domestic violence and child abuse against his 10-month-old daughter and her mother.[21]


  1. "Mike Clevinger, rhp, Indians". Baseball America. Durham, North Carolina: TEN: The Enthusiast Network. Retrieved August 3, 2016.
  2. ""Angels Pay for Former Wolfson Pitcher; after Turning Down First Offer, Clevinger Agrees to $350,000 Deal" by Carlyon, Hays – The Florida Times Union, June 8, 2011". Farmington Hills, Michigan. Archived from the original on June 28, 2018.
  3. "#31 Michael Clevinger – Profile". pointstreak.com. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  4. "MLB Draft Roundup: Former Wolfson standout Clevinger goes in fourth round to Angels". The Florida Times-Union. Jacksonville, Florida: Morris Communications. Retrieved July 26, 2015.
  5. Pluto, Terry (March 23, 2016). "Cleveland Indians prospect Mike Clevinger savors everything from breaking bats to baby-sitting". Cleveland.com. Retrieved September 23, 2016.
  6. Storm, Stephanie (August 7, 2014). "Indians trade RH reliever Vinnie Pestano to Angels for minor league pitcher Michael Clevinger". Akron Beacon Journal. Akron, Ohio: Black Press Ltd. Retrieved July 26, 2015.
  7. "Cleveland Indians trade Vinnie Pestano to Angels for RHP Michael Clevinger". Cleveland.com. Cleveland: Advance Publications (Newhouse Newspapers). August 8, 2014. Retrieved July 26, 2015.
  8. "Indians recall RHP Mike Clevinger from Columbus". MLB.com. New York City: Major League Baseball. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  9. Hoynes, Paul (August 2, 2016). "Does Cleveland Indians' Danny Salazar have peace of mind? Mike Clevinger to start Thursday". Cleveland.com. Cleveland: Advance Publications (Newhouse Newspapers). Retrieved August 3, 2016.
  10. "Cleveland Indians place right-handers Zach Plesac, Mike Clevinger on restricted list". August 11, 2020.
  11. "Sources: Pitchers' actions caused rift in Indians". ESPN.com. August 17, 2020. Retrieved January 24, 2023.
  12. "Cleveland Indians trade Mike Clevinger, Greg Allen and player to be named to San Diego for six players". August 31, 2020.
  13. "Mike Clevinger To Undergo Tommy John Surgery; 2-Year Deal Official". MLB Trade Rumors.
  14. "Padres Sign Mark Melancon". MLB Trade Rumors.
  15. "White Sox and Mike Clevinger agree to terms on one-year contract". MLB.com. December 4, 2022. Retrieved December 4, 2022.
  16. "Mike Clevinger Visualization Report | MLB.com". baseballsavant.com. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
  17. "The Retooled Mike Clevinger Is Something to Behold". FanGraphs Baseball. August 22, 2019. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
  18. "Join us in congratulating RHP Mike Clevinger on the birth of his first child: Penelope Grace Clevinger". TribeVibe. October 26, 2016. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  19. "Congratulations: His family just keeps growing!". Fox 8 Cleveland. March 22, 2017. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  20. Green, Taiki. "Mike Clevinger". Momentum. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  21. "Former CLE pitcher Mike Clevinger under MLB investigation: Report". Fox, Laura Morrison. January 24, 2023. Retrieved January 24, 2023.
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