Cleveland Indians: Breaking down the Opening Day bullpen

Oct 19, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Cody Allen (37) pitches during the ninth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays in game five of the 2016 ALCS playoff baseball series at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 19, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Cody Allen (37) pitches during the ninth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays in game five of the 2016 ALCS playoff baseball series at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Oct 26, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Dan Otero throws against the Chicago Cubs in the 7th inning in game two of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 26, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Dan Otero throws against the Chicago Cubs in the 7th inning in game two of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /

Dan Otero

With all the talk of the main bullpen trio, Dan Otero seemed to be a forgotten man in the 2016 postseason. He did make six postseason appearances, but only one came in a close game, a win over the Toronto Blue Jays.

Otero didn’t do bad in the postseason, yet his lack of a memorable outing may be due to the fact that so much focus was put on Miller, Allen and Shaw throughout the playoffs. He gave the Indians a dominant fourth option, but just wasn’t needed in high-leverage situations.

Otero came to Cleveland after three seasons in Oakland and turned himself into the unsung hero of the bullpen. He appeared in 62 games, striking out 57 batters and only walking 10 in 70.2 innings pitched. Not too bad.

He enters 2017 as the fourth option once again, and may see his role increase if he keeps up the dominant work. He may be able to take Bryan Shaw’s setup spot if Shaw struggles throughout the year. This may cause fans to rejoice, yet it would take some time to happen.

For now, Otero remains someone who can set up the setup guys, and do so in an efficient manner. Improving upon his 0.906 WHIP won’t be easy, but he is coming off a career year and is on arguably the best team in baseball, so the confidence will be there.