Cleveland Guardians: Way-too-early Opening Day rotation projection for 2022
Aaron Civale, SP, Cleveland Guardians
The second spot of the rotation in Cleveland is, in a way, up for grabs. Bieber is settled in as the team’s best pitcher, but the rest of the rotation is up in the air in terms of the order. The players are known, but the order in which they will appear is not. If consistency is a key attribute in the decision, then Aaron Civale is likely to be the club’s No. 2 starting pitcher.
Before his injury, Civale was off to a hot start to the season. He was the first pitcher in the game to reach 10 wins and made it seem like Cleveland could have two pitchers in the Cy Young conversation. The end of the year wasn’t as smooth after the injury, but a full season should allow Civale to return to form.
While Bieber is a strikeout pitcher, Civale pitches to contact, with just 7.2 strikeouts per nine. The two balance each other very well and having them back-to-back in the rotation is a great way to start off.
Cal Quantrill, SP, Cleveland Guardians
The third spot in Cleveland’s rotation has been a spot that could go one of two ways. The team could ride the arm that has been in this spot in the past, Zach Plesac, or they could go with the hot hand from the 2021 season, Cal Quantrill.
Quantrill has shown his ability well this past season, making a case to potentially even be the No. 2 starter in Cleveland. He had somewhat of a rough transition from the bullpen to the rotation, but once he settled in he looked like one of the best starting pitchers in the league.
In the second half of the season, Quantrill posted an ERA below two over 14 starts. If that’s the form he can maintain moving forward, he should be a staple in Cleveland’s rotation moving forward.