Lynchburg Hillcats alum Aaron Civale makes MLB debut
Former Lynchburg Hillcats pitcher Aaron Civale made his Major League debut for the Cleveland Indians on Saturday, June 22, against the Detroit Tigers. He pitched six shutout innings, scattering just two hits and striking out six. Civale earned the win and threw 87 pitches, 47 strikes. The Tribe squeezed out a 2-0 win over Detroit.
The East Windsor, CT. native was drafted by the Indians in the third round of the 2016 MLB Draft out of Northeastern University. The right-hander becomes the sixth Huskies alum to reach The Show, and the first since Adam Ottavino debuted in 2010. Luke Carlin, who currently manages Single-A Lake County in the Indians farm system, also reached the Major Leagues out of Northeastern in 2008.
Civale wore a Hillcats uniform in 2017 when he started 17 games for Lynchburg. He posted an 11-2 record with a 2.59 ERA over 107.2 innings. He walked just nine batters over that span. Civale was the Carolina League Pitcher of the Month in August of 2017, when the righty went 6-0 with a 1.93 ERA and a 0.81 WHIP over six starts.
This season, after beginning the year in Extended Spring Training, Civale made his 2019 debut in Double-A Akron on May 11. After five starts with the RubberDucks, which saw him go 4-0 with a 2.67 ERA, the Indians promoted the 24-year-old to Triple-A Columbus on June 6. After just two starts with the Clippers, Civale was called up to the Major Leagues.
Civale is the 176th Hillcats player to make his Major League debut since 1995 and is the ninth to make his debut for the Indians since Cleveland took over the Lynchburg affiliation in 2015. Civale joins Zach Plesac (2019), Eric Haase (2018), Shane Bieber (2018), Bradley Zimmer (2017), Greg Allen (2017), Francisco Mejia (2017), Perci Garner (2016) and Adam Plutko (2016) to play for the Indians at the big league level.
Lynchburg returns home on Monday, June 24 to begin a seven-game homestand starting with the Frederick Keys. Homestand highlights include Kids-Eat-Free Tuesday, Winning Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday, fireworks shows on Friday and Saturday, and Grateful Dead Night featuring a pre-game cover band performance on Friday, June 28.