The Cleveland Guardians' season came to a close with the 162nd game of the year. While they were not able to return to the postseason and have a chance to make a postseason run, there were still some bright spots for a team that clearly has a bright future.
1. The Emergence of the Rookie Pitching Trio
Even though it was a few injuries combined with poor performance that resulted in their MLB Debuts coming a little earlier than expected, the future of the Cleveland Guardians rotation appears to be in good hands moving forward with Tanner Bibee, Gavin Williams, and Logan Allen.
The most impressive and consistent of the bunch was Bibee. The 24-year-old right-hander would strike out 141 batters in 142 innings, finishing with a 2.98 ERA and 1.176 WHIP in 25 starts. Bibee's year was cut short due to a hip injury, but there were not many games remaining on the schedule.
Allen would finish his rookie campaign with a 3.81 ERA and 1.396 WHIP in 125.1 innings, striking out 119 batters along the way. If there is one area that Allen needs to work on it is issuing free passes. Allen would walk three or more batters seven times and four batters twice in his 24 starts. Even though this is clearly an area in need of some improvement, it appears that the Guardians finally have a much-needed left-hander in their rotation moving forward.
The third and final pitcher of this group to debut was Gavin Williams. Williams' 16 starts were the fifth-most on the Guardians this year, just barely eclipsing the 13 of Aaron Civale who was dealt at the deadline. Williams struck out 81 batters in 82 innings and would allow 30 runs during that span, resulting in his 3.29 ERA and 1.256 WHIP. Like Allen, Williams needs to limit walks as his career progresses. Williams would walk four batters in five starts this season, a rate which can lead to high pitch counts in short outings having an impact on the rest of the pitching staff.