Cleveland Indians: Once healthy, Cleveland’s roster can still contend

Zach Plesac #34 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images)
Zach Plesac #34 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images) /
3 of 4
Cleveland Indians, Aaron Civale
Starting pitcher Aaron Civale #43 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images) /

Cleveland Indians Starting Rotation

It’s been well documented that the starting rotation of the Cleveland Indians has been hit hard this season in about every way imaginable. First, the two prospects that completed the rotation struggled and were sent down. Then, the reliable starting trio all went on the injured list. The icing on the cake has been how hard the pieced together starting rotation has been hit.

Luckily, the 2016 MLB Draft class of Shane Bieber, Aaron Civale and Zach Plesac should hopefully be returning soon. Plesac has made one rehab start already and was supposed to make his second on July 3, but hasn’t appeared since that first appearance. As for Bieber and Civale, they are still in the waiting period to begin throwing again to get a concrete timetable.

Once those three return, the Cleveland Indians will have three of five starting rotation spots taken care of. The other two are still up in the air. Of the pitchers that have filled in recently, only Cal Quantrill has an ERA below 6.00 and what is keeping Quantrill’s down at 4.20 is his reliever stats from earlier in the season.

However, Quantrill still might be the best candidate to fill a spot in the rotation at this point. After all, he is a member of the 2016 MLB Draft class.

Over seven starts this year, Quantrill is giving up just under three runs a start and he has a scoreless start and two one-run outings under his belt. The only problem is he also has a five-spot and a six-spot on the ledger as well. Consistency hasn’t been his friend, but he’s still been the best option, even if he hasn’t gone longer than 5.1 innings yet.

That would leave just one spot up for grabs in the rotation. Again, the Cleveland Indians could venture into the trade market. There are plenty of cheap starting pitchers the team could explore. If the front office sees the potential to contend in the playoffs, which they should, they know another starting pitcher is a must down the stretch to solidify the unit.