It’s hard to mention Shane Bieber and Aaron Civale without also mentioning Zach Plesac. The trio from the 2016 MLB Draft took the Indians’ rotation by storm and flipped it on its head, transitioning from Corey Kluber, Mike Clevinger and Trevor Bauer to these three in what felt like a blink of an eye. In reality, the moves came over the course of about a year, but a quick change nonetheless.
During the 2019 season, Plesac was with the team for most of the season, starting 21 games. However, a bump in the road last year resulted in just eight appearances for him. Over those combined 29 starts, Plesac has registered a 3.32 ERA and 1.09 WHIP while striking out 145 batters over 171 innings. If those numbers carry over into a full 162-game season, then we should be in for about 170 strikeouts from Plesac.
The plus for Plesac that sets him apart from the rest of the rotation is really his fielding, even being a finalist among pitchers for the 2020 Gold Glove Award. He’s committed just two errors in his 29 games. In a year where the middle infield could be questionable, that reliability on the mound defensively could be huge.