Shane Bieber: A+
The All-Star Game MVP emerged as an ace in a year when the Indians dealt with plenty of injuries in the rotation. In only his second season, Bieber logged 214.1 innings and struck out 259 batters. He also had two shutouts and was the only Indians pitcher to eclipse 30 starts. Bieber is an absolute bargain and is a testament to the team’s scouting department.
Trevor Bauer: B
Bauer was actually having a solid season in Cleveland. He didn’t fall apart until his trade to Cincinnati. Some fans may forget but after all the injuries, Bauer made the second-most starts on the team in 2019. Yet the rise of Bieber and a few other young guys, coupled with Bauer’s impending raise, allowed the Indians to move on.
What could have been a great season was cut short due to injuries. Clevinger made 21 starts and logged 126 innings. Remove Bauer from the conversation and those 126 innings were the second-most on the team. Talk about a rough year for injuries. Clev’s 2.71 ERA was a career-best and he remains a top of the rotation guy in 2020.
Zach Plesac: B+
The 24-year-old made his debut on May 28 with a win over the Boston Red Sox and never looked back. He ended up making 21 starts and slotting in as a regular member of the rotation. He isn’t assured a spot in 2020 but he certainly made a strong case in his rookie campaign.
Adam Plutko: C+
Plutko did his job in 2019. He was the fifth starter on a team riddled with injuries, even though his 4.86 ERA is tough on the eyes. I don’t imagine he will open the year in the rotation next year, but he provides some experience when injuries do happen.
Carlos Carrasco: Incomplete
The main story of Carrasco’s year was that he came back from a leukemia diagnosis to pitch and try to help his team reach the postseason. Absolutely insane. His numbers suffered at the start of the year, though now we know why that was likely the case.
Aaron Civale: A-
Civale made 10 starts and didn’t allow more than two earned runs in any of those starts until his final one against Washington. Even then, he only allowed four earned runs. He never had big strikeout numbers, yet he still dominated in limited action. His problem was run support, which is something that should be no surprise to Indians fans. Civale will be in the conversation for a rotation spot in 2020.