*Attached video: Terry Francona’s life in baseball is subject of new documentary

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Guardians have optioned struggling starter Zach Plesac to Triple-A Columbus.

The team made the move with Plesac on Thursday, one day before his next scheduled start. Instead, rookie Peyton Battenfield will pitch the opener of a three-game series against the Minnesota Twins on Friday.

Plesac went 1-1 with a 7.59 ERA in five starts before his demotion. The right-hander’s problems extend to last season. He went 3-12 with a 4.31 ERA in 24 starts last year.

In his previous outing, the 28-year-old Plesac gave up five runs and eight hits in 3 1/3 innings on April 29, giving the Guardians no choice but to consider other options. He’s 26-27 with a 4.20 ERA with Cleveland since 2019.

With Plesac going down, the Guardians are missing three starters they were counting on to defend their AL Central title. Triston McKenzie hasn’t pitched this season because of a shoulder strain and Aaron Civale is out with an oblique injury.

However, Cleveland has solid pitching depth with rookie Logan Allen, Tanner Bibee and Battenfield all showing promise so far in 2023.