Weekly Wroundtable: The Biggest Surprises of the Cleveland Indians’ Season So Far

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Indians’ Surprises: The Starting Rotation

May 13, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber (28) pitches during the third inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Cody Norman: The Tribe’s inability to find a quality fifth starter has been incredibly surprising. When Gavin Floyd signed this off-season, Cleveland appeared to have an enviable problem: they had too many quality arms. With Floyd shelved for the year, T.J. House was the obvious fill-in given his surprising success last year. But that failed, too. Now that Zach McAllister has found himself a solid home in the bullpen, the Indians have really been hard-pressed to find a fifth starter to give them a legitimate chance to win every fifth day. Hopefully, they’ve finally found their guy in Shaun Marcum. Otherwise, it’s back to the drawing board for Terry Francona and Mickey Callaway. Let’s hope for the former.

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Andrew Schmid: The biggest surprise for me has been how well the pitching staff has worked out. Generally, relying on young pitchers to drive a team is asking for trouble, but it has worked out rather well for the Cleveland Indians. Even though the starting rotation as a whole has an ERA of 4.42, Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, and Danny Salazar all have sub-three xFIPs, bring the team to a baseball best 3.09. The starting rotation has also led the league in strikeout rate, and their 10.26 strikeouts per nine innings is a whole strikeout better than the next best. Sadly, bad luck and poor defense has cost the rotation national praise, as the staff’s BABIP, in addition to being the worst in the majors, is a whole 40 points worse than the league average.

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Next: The Rise of Murphburn

Next: Indians' Surprises: The Rise of Murphburn