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Swing and a Tribe: Cleveland Indians sadness or madness?

coreilly
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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CLEVELAND, OH – OCTOBER 01: Zach McAllister #34 of the Cleveland Indians pitches against the Chicago White Sox in the seventh inning at Progressive Field on October 1, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Indians defeated the White Sox 3-1. (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH – OCTOBER 01: Zach McAllister #34 of the Cleveland Indians pitches against the Chicago White Sox in the seventh inning at Progressive Field on October 1, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Indians defeated the White Sox 3-1. (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images) /

The woes of the bullpen

Outside of some cataclysmic string of injuries, I try not to overreact to too many of the things–good or bad–that take place over the course of a baseball season. That said, the Cleveland Indians bullpen terrifies me.

Tribe relievers have pitched the fewest innings of any bullpen in baseball at 113.1. Sure, that’s a testament to the effectiveness of the starting rotation–but do you know what happens over the course of a six-month season when you have to ask your starters to throw 120 pitches every night?

That was a rhetorical question.

I’m not worried about Andrew Miller or Cody Allen. They’ve earned the right to hit a rough patch and come out the other side of it. But they can’t do it alone, and what I am worried about is what happens when one or both of them is sidelined.

As a whole, the ‘pen has a staggering 5.72 ERA, only the Miami Marlins are worse. The Cleveland Indians also are tied for 10th-most home runs allowed despite their aforementioned league-low number of innings pitched.

The loyalist in me wants to continue to blindly place my faith in the Indians bullpen until they emerge from the depths of their poisoned well. The realist in me believes that in order for that to happen, the front office is going to have to make a splash and trade for some more reliable arms.

Final (Temporary) Verdict: Sadness

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