Indians’ Shane Bieber to start Friday after missing 3-plus months

Cleveland Indians right-hander Shane Bieber is slated to start against the visiting Chicago White Sox on Friday night after missing three-plus months with a strained right shoulder.

The reigning American League Cy Young Award recipient last pitched for the Indians on June 13.

Bieber’s shoulder felt good during a 57-pitch rehab start for Double-A Akron on Sunday despite serving up two homers and allowing three runs in 3 1/3 innings. He followed up with a bullpen session on Tuesday.

“He felt pretty good, so we’re comfortable with starting him Friday,” Indians acting manager DeMarlo Hale told reporters on Wednesday. “We’ll definitely put a pitch count on him. We haven’t established that yet, but it won’t be too big of a jump from a rehab game in the minors.”

The 26-year-old Bieber was 7-4 with a 3.28 ERA in 14 starts this season prior to the injury. Bieber has 130 strikeouts in 90 2/3 innings, and has allowed 80 hits and 33 walks.

Overall, Bieber is 41-18 with a 3.31 ERA in 80 career appearances (78 starts) over four seasons.