After allegations from Olivia Finestead (the mother of Mike Clevinger’s 10-month-old son), Mike Clevinger was placed under investigation for child abuse and domestic violence.
Finestead issued a detailed report to the Athletic that included physical, verbal, and emotional abuse. Clevinger allegedly choked her in June, while he was still playing with the Padres. He then slapped her two months later on the road to play a series against Los Angeles Dodgers. Finestead stated that Clevinger had thrown chewing tobacco onto their child during the second altercation at Los Angeles.
The White Sox responded with a statement to the Athletic saying they were unaware of the allegations before signing Clevinger.
“Major League Baseball and the Chicago White Sox take any and all allegations very seriously, and the White Sox are completely supportive of the Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy shared by MLB and the MLBPA. After learning about these allegations, MLB opened an investigation. These allegations and the investigation were not known to the White Sox at the time they signed. The White Sox will refrain from comment until the MLB’s investigative process has reached its conclusion.”
Finestead first detailed the allegations in an Instagram story calling Clevinger a “sociopath” and including graphic photos of where she was allegedly hit. Images show marks and scratches on Clevinger’s stomach, neck, arms and stomach.
One of the posts states:
“Shoutout to your ex for posting every time you abused her. I don’t have 3 kids I completely abandoned abused and neglected/put in harms way. You do. I also don’t have 2 baby mamas that I’ve physically, verbally and emotionally abused for extended periods of time until they have snap back at you and you try to paint them out as crazy. You do. You are not also addicted to acid and shrooms. It’s narcissism & addiction to the highest degree”
She also accused him of threatening his other kid’s mother in a screenshot from a text conversation. She did however give the White Sox credit for her suspicions, writing:
“I was told the @whitesox didn’t have a clue of mikes investigation. Cant blame an organization for something they don’t know”
Clevinger isn’t the first to be accused of abuse. Clevinger’s ex-girlfriend also made similar allegations in 2019. Clevinger’s agent Seth Levinson was contacted by the Athletic for comment. Levinson responded via text message saying, “We need to fairly and thoroughly protect our client and at the same time be respectful of the White Sox and MLB. We need time before responding.”
The club was already taking a gamble on Clevinger when they signed him to a one-year deal worth $12 million last December. The 32-year old righty has just two years to go before undergoing Tommy John surgery. His first season was a success with a 4.33 ERA, 18.8 K% and 7.2 BB%. He also had a 35.2% groundball percentage in 114 1/3 innings. He also pitched in two playoff games and allowed seven earned runs over 2 1/3 innings. He was in the bottom half of league for hard hit percentages, expected batting percentages, expected batting averages, expected hitter percentage, barrel%, strikeout%, whiffrate, fastball velocity, curveball spin, and expected batting percentage. Clevinger could soon be back on the market as a free agent, so none of this matters.
Clevinger was once a dominant Cleveland starter. He had a 2.96 ERA for 489 1/3 innings between 2017-20. The former fourth-round draft pick also posted an excellent 19 K-BB%, placing him amongst the game’s best pitchers. He threw 200 innings in 2018, with a 3.02 ERA. He won 13 of his games and was credited with 207 strikeouts. During the 2020 season, however, he was caught violating COVID-19 protocol while on a roadtrip in Chicago. He was one of nine players who were traded in 2020 and sent to San Diego the next day.
His alleged sexual abuse of Feinstand happened while he was living in San Diego. The Padres responded with a statement that said they are “aware of the MLB’s investigation and completely support their efforts under the Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse policy. Due to the ongoing investigative process, we cannot comment any further at this time.”
Many Twitter users expressed their dismay and called for his release. If the allegations prove true and he is allowed to be released, one can only wonder if he will ever again play in the MLB.
The situation is similar to Trevor Bauer’s. The Los Angels Dodgers recently released the 2020 Cy Young Winner after a tumultuous investigation by both Major League Baseball and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office. In the summer 2021, it was discovered that Bauer had been accused of sexual assault by a California woman.
Bauer has a better record on the mound than Clevinger, and it is unlikely that he will find another MLB home. There are not many teams that are interested in a player with such baggage. The White Sox will wait to see what the investigation uncovers.