Cleveland planning to start rookie Merritt in Game 4 or 5

The Cleveland Indians plan to start rookie left-hander Ryan Merritt in the AL Championship Series.

Merritt is slated to pitch either Game 4 or 5, depending on how Trevor Bauer’s injured finger holds up. Bauer is starting Game 3 on Monday night.

Manager Terry Francona says if there’s no problem with Bauer, Merritt is in line to start Game 4. Francona said if there’s a “malfunction” with Bauer’s finger, then Corey Kluber could come back on short rest for Game 4 on Tuesday and also be available for a potential Game 7.

In that scenario, Merritt would pitch Game 5 — if there is one. Cleveland leads the series 2-0.

The 24-year-old Merritt’s major league resume consists of 11 innings in the regular season this year. He made one start.

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