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 17, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Bryan Shaw (27) delivers a pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays during the fifth inning in game three of the 2016 ALCS playoff baseball series at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 17, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Bryan Shaw (27) delivers a pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays during the fifth inning in game three of the 2016 ALCS playoff baseball series at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports /

Bryan Shaw

Personally, I don’t understand the fan hatred toward Bryan Shaw. Yes, he has had some epic collapses, but he is reliable more often than not.

Shaw appeared in 75 games for the Indians in 2016, and only had three terrible regular season outings. Two of these came in April, so perhaps the bad vibes stuck with some fans throughout the year.

But whether fans like it or not, Shaw remains one of the go-to relievers for Terry Francona in 2017. He has appeared in at least 70 games in each of the past four seasons, and that should not change this year.

He will continue to be part of Francona’s go-to trio, and will frequently be seen in the seventh and eighth inning of games throughout the year. He did allow 28 walks last season, which could be a problem for him if Otero continues to rarely allow one.

Related: 10 bold predictions for the 2017 season

But at the start of the year, Shaw will retain his usual setup role. It is up to a player like Otero to challenge for that spot, but it would require Shaw to blow several games in a row for Francona to really consider a change.

After appearing in 11 of the team’s 15 postseason games in 2016, expect to once again see a lot of Shaw in 2017. And don’t waste energy on hating him, because when he does well you don’t want to be the one negative person in the room not enjoying the moment.