Shane Bieber, SP, Cleveland Indians
Entering the 2021 season we knew it was going to be difficult for Shane Bieber to match his 2020 performance, however, it wasn’t expected to go this way. Coming off a historic season, the reigning American League Cy Young seemed poised to lead a young rotation in Cleveland, but injury struck and has derailed his year.
Luckily, we pretty much know what to expect from Bieber. Despite the injury he was still an All-Star this year and has put up strong and consistent numbers throughout his young career. At just 26-years old, he is surely going to be a key piece in Cleveland’s rotation moving forward.
The question with Bieber right now is how to close out the rest of the season. Given Cleveland’s position in the standings, there really isn’t a reason to try and rush him back into the rotation. Being nine games back in the Wild Card, the postseason is nearly out of reach, so Bieber can take his time getting back or the team could just shut him down and get ready for 2022.
Bieber threw a second bullpen earlier this week, tossing 25 fastballs from the bump and the rest of his pitches from flat ground. With a little over a month in the season, we’ll be lucky to get Bieber for more than a start or two, if that. Luckily, when the team needs him, being next year, he should be back healthy and ready to lead a quietly strong rotation in Cleveland once again.