Aaron Civale, SP, Cleveland Indians
Right next to Bieber on the injured list is Aaron Civale. Like Bieber, Civale was looking strong early in the season and was even talked about as being on the same level as the defending Cy Young winner. He was the first pitcher in the game to hit double-digit wins in 2021, but unfortunately an injury hasn’t allowed him to get even win 11 yet.
Civale is a bit ahead of Bieber in the recovery process, having thrown a simulated game, so the odds of getting Civale back this season is a bit higher. At the time of his injury he was putting up some of the better numbers of his career, so it will be interesting to see if he can get back to that form before the 2021 season closes out.
Even if he can’t get all the way there, Civale is poised to be one of the better starters in Cleveland next year. He showed promise this season after a bit of a more difficult 2020 season. Having the offseason to get fully healthy and then Spring Training to relocate what was working earlier this season should set up Civale to be one of the better pitchers not only in Cleveland in 2022, but possibly in the entire American League.