Indians Rumors: Could Gavin Floyd’s Setback Open A Door For Someone Else?

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There’s no question that Cleveland Indians’ pitcher Gavin Floyd has been through a lot the last two seasons. After returning to the Atlanta Braves last season following Tommy John surgery, a promising start to his season was cut short by a fractured right elbow. In the past two years, he’s seen a total of 14 games. And now he’s being slowed again before he even starts. 

And while the Indians’ are being cautious with their new addition, the setback of “general soreness” that kept Floyd from his first appearance leaves some questions. The Tribe have made it clear he would be part of the rotation, so if he can’t go, who might get their chance?

If it’s a temporary setback, and the Indians won’t have to address his absence long-term–Bruce Chen and Shaun Marcum become your best options. While Danny Salazar, T.J. House and Zach McAllister battle it out for the last rotation spot, I think sliding in a veteran on the interim is a better plan than moving a young arm back and forth between either the bullpen or Triple-A.

Chen is a solid veteran with plenty of starting experience, although he hasn’t taken on a full load of starts since the 2012 season when he started 34 games for the Kansas City Royals. a back injury last season, and a change in role led to him only pitching 48 1/3 innings. But he was brought in with the idea that he would compete for the last spot. Although the young guns get most of the talk, Chen is very much part of that fight, more so if Floyd misses any time.

Marcum is a player, that if taken at face value of last year, is past his prime and on his way out. But the fact is that after having surgery to correct thoracic outlet syndrome –which affects the nerves in the neck and arm– he could be a diamond in the rough for the Indians.

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Spending time in Toronto and Milwaukee before last year’s debacle with the New York Mets, Marcum had been a solid middle-of-the-rotation pitcher, winning 13 games in back-to-back seasons. He also averaged near 200 innings in those two years. After carrying a WAR of 4.3 in Milwaukee and 9.6 in Toronto, it’s clear last year is the exception and not the norm.

Should Floyd need more time to be ready to go, both of these pitchers would be solid options as a number five guy. They’ve had more time in the league, and would be more apt to make the adjustments moving between the bullpen and rotation, as compared to the trio of youngsters also battling for a spot.

The hope is the general soreness he’s experiencing will subside, and the newest member of the Indians staff won’t miss any starts this season.

But hope is a fickle one when it comes to baseball.

Next: Indians Counting On Kluber In 2015

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