As Major League Baseball’s investigation into allegations of domestic violence against new Mike Clevinger continued, the White Sox right-hander vehemently denied the accusations on the first day of spring training Wednesday at Camelback Ranch.
Clevinger expects to be cleared by MLB and pitch this season for the White Sox, who signed him to a one-year, $12 million contract as a free agent this winter.
“It’s really embarrassing,” Clevinger, 32, said. “It’s not who I am. And now I need to sit here and answer questions like I am one of those people. I’m here to answer to the bell and excited to see when the facts come out.”
“I am,” Clevinger said when asked if he expects to be exonerated by MLB. “I’m confident. I am.”
It was somewhat surprising that Clevinger stepped up to talk publicly hours after addressing teammates in the clubhouse, where he said he regretted causing a distraction on the first day of camp.
“I didn’t have to, but yeah,” he said. “It’s the elephant in the room. I wanted to address it. I’m not going to hide away from it. I didn’t do anything wrong. I’m not running away from this.”
The White Sox must wait for Major League Baseball to conclude its investigation, which has been ongoing for months. If they cut him from the roster, they would still owe his salary and would face a grievance from the players association.
Manager Pedro Grifol said he expects Clevinger to pitch for the Sox this season.
“We signed him to be a part of the rotation,” Grifol said. “He’s here in camp and working to be a part of it, a big part of it.”
It was first-year manager Grifol’s first day on the job as pitchers and catchers reported for spring training. It was Clevinger’s first official day, although he checked in to the Sox training complex Friday, he said.
“I’m pretty disappointed we have to start off this way,” Clevinger said. “This is pretty devastating to me and my family and I know I feel terrible for my teammates having to answer questions from you, and for you to have to ask them a bunch of questions about this. I trust the process from MLB, I really do. I think there’s a reason I’m sitting in front of you today. I’m just asking everyone to wait before they rust to judgment. Wait until the actual facts are out there, wait until there’s actual evidence, and then make your decision on who you think I am.
”This is pretty devastating to me and my family,” he said. “And I know I feel terrible for all my teammates having to answer questions.”
“I’m just asking everyone to wait before they rush to judgment. Wait until the actual facts are out there. Wait until there’s actual evidence and then make a decision on me.”