After trading away Carlos Carrasco as part of the Francisco Lindor deal, the Cleveland Indians now are one starter shy of an elite rotation. Perhaps there will be a name emerge, that’s how Aaron Civale and Zach Plesac arrived, but for now that fifth spot in the rotation is just a big question mark.
While he most likely won’t be ready at the beginning of the season, one name to watch for the opening could be Ethan Hankins, the No. 10 prospect in the Cleveland organization. The 35th pick of the 2018 draft, Hankins is only 20-years old and has little experience. However, the potential and intrigue is definitely there.
Calling up Hankins most likely wouldn’t happen until later in the season, similar to what we saw with Triston McKenzie, but he could still make that debut during the 2021 season. He’s only appeared in 16 games since being drafted, but a strong showing in the minors could turn the tides.
In his small sample size, Hankins was able to record 11 strikeouts per nine innings, recording 77 over the course of 63 innings pitched. Over that same span he only walked 30 batters. If he can continue those numbers while improving his record he could debut. Despite his success, he’s still yet to register a win as a professional, being 0-3. Once he tallies that first win it’ll be interesting to see if he gets a confidence boost and improved numbers with it.