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Cleveland Indians: How the Opening week rotation could look

(Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images) /

Is it too early to start thinking about Opening Day and the glorious first week? Yes? Oh Well. We’re looking at the potential rotation for the Cleveland Indians come that time.

Folks, we just had a day without baseball. This is a sad glimpse of the long Winter that is approaching. Maybe the Dodgers could do us a favor and make us wait a little longer, huh? The Cleveland Indians are a long way away from the start of the 2019 season. But it’s never too early to think about the future. Particularly, our beautiful rotation of domination.

We have a pretty good idea of who is starting, but there may be a surprise or two sprinkled in. We’re going to take a look at how things could look once late March rolls around.

First starter: Corey Kluber

Duh. Corey Kluber is the unquestioned starter of this rotation. He is the ace, and nothing will change that. We’ve seen his poor playoff performances in recent years, but that has no bearing on his role in this rotation.

We should take care to cherish the time we have with Kluber. We may not see a starter the likes of him in a long time. His arsenal of pitches is matched only by Trevor Bauer in this rotation. Corey Kluber will get the nod on what is sure to be a chilly Opening Day in Minnesota.

Second starter: Trevor Bauer

This is where we see our first change. Normally Carlos Carrasco is the second starter for the Indians, but after a career-year Trevor Bauer has earned his spot here. Bauer had the best ERA of any Tribe starter this season. It was the first time in his career that he’s had an ERA below 4.00.

Trevor Bauer was in the running for his first Cy Young award before being sidelined for over a month near the end of the season. While we all love Carrasco, Bauer has elevated himself to the point of being the second starter for this team.

Third starter: Carlos Carrasco

Carrasco gets the nod for the third spot in the rotation. It’s not a decline by any means. It’s simply a product of how good Bauer has played. Carrasco also dealt with injuries this season. He missed a month of action after taking a line drive off of his arm.

Carrasco isn’t going anywhere for the time being. He is still a staple of this Indians rotation. He provides a nice variation from Kluber and Bauer before him, and he’s a strong centerpiece to the order.

Fourth starter: Mike Clevinger

Another no-brainer. We wrote about Mike Clevinger‘s improvement the other day in an article. He’s showing just how far he’s come from his days in the minors and continues be to play a huge role in the rotation.

Mike has utilized his offspeed pitches to become a weapon on the mound. His ability to pick off runners, his deception, and his improving command add up to a nightmare for batters. He can only get better as I’ve said and it’s only a matter of time before he works himself into a higher spot in the rotation.

Fifth starter: Danny Salazar

Here is where it gets interesting. Most people will say Shane Bieber will remain in the rotation. It makes sense. But with Danny Salazar potentially returning to the rotation, I think there is a good chance he’s seen as a starter.

You can say I’m just making an assumption, and you’d be right. But I just have a feeling that Danny returns to have a remarkable Spring Training and takes over the starting role. This isn’t to discount the effectiveness of Shane Bieber, but he has options remaining.

Next. A look at Brandon Guyer's time in Cleveland. dark

This might be Danny’s last chance, and I think Terry Francona will give him that chance to prove himself as a starter one more time.