One thing was abundantly clear about Cleveland Guardians starting pitcher Cal Quantrill earlier this season. He was not right.
From the beginning of the season up to mid-July, Quantrill was getting shelled regularly. Nearly half of his starts (6 of 13) saw the right-hander allow four runs or more, including five instances of five or more. Quantrill hit the injured list in late May with a shoulder injury, which may have been the cause of the 14 runs allowed in his final two starts before hitting the shelf. The 28-year-old would make two starts in late June and early July, and he was still not fully healthy, allowing another 11 runs in just 7.2 innings before landing on the injured list again.
A much lengthier stint on the injured list appears to have done the job for Quantrill, as his performances since being activated are significantly better. Compare his 48 runs allowed in 67 innings off a .301/.358/.453 slash line to opposing batters over his first 13 starts to his three runs allowed in 18 innings with a .164/.271/.262 slash line against in his three starts since returning to the Guardians' rotation. The most recent being Tuesday night's outing, which saw him allow just one run on five hits over 6 innings in Cleveland's 3-1 win over the San Francisco Giants.
Quantrill is never going to be a top-end starter, but that is not something he has to be in Cleveland. The Guardians feature a talented group of arms that are the envy of most teams in Major League Baseball, with Shane Bieber, Triston McKenzie, Tanner Bibee, Gavin Williams, and Logan Allen filling out their rotation. While it remains to be seen how much longer Bieber will be in Cleveland, but should the Guardians move him this offseason or during 2024, Quantrill is more than capable of sliding in the back end of their rotation. As long as the Guardians have most of the aforementioned arms available to them, having Quantrill in their rotation is a more than viable option for the club moving forward.