Relief pitcher Shawn Armstrong has seen a number of short stints with the Indians over the past couple of years, but 2017 will be the year where he becomes a permanent fixture in the Tribe bullpen.
In 18 games for the Indians across 2015 and 2016, Armstrong posted a 2.41 ERA across 18.2 innings. He has shows no signs of growing pains and looks confident and prepared every time he taken the mound.
The Indians bullpen has no shortage of right-handed pitchers, but as the season goes on, they could look for upgrades over Zach McAllister and Dan Otero. Armstrong could even make the bullpen out of spring training, as the only set relievers seem to be McAllister, Otero, Bryan Shaw, Andrew Miller and Cody Allen, leaving 2-3 open spots.
In Columbus in 2016, Armstrong posted an impressive 1.84 ERA over 49 innings pitched. He also averaged 13.2 strikeouts per nine innings.
Perhaps the most impressive number for Armstrong is that he did not give up a home run in AAA in 2016, and gave up just one in the MLB.
Armstrong would be a great piece in the middle innings. While the Indians are likely more focused on adding a left-handed middle reliever, there is no denying that Armstrong would be an instant upgrade.