Cleveland Guardians offseason outlook: starting rotation
By Kevin Devine
The Cleveland Guardians' starting rotation was somewhat of a mixed bag in 2022. They finished with the tenth-best starters' ERA in MLB at 3.73, but ranked just 17th in Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP), a stat meant to eliminate variables that the pitcher has less control over. Their top three starters (Shane Bieber, Triston McKenzie, and Cal Quantrill) all pitched to career low strikeout rates, and depended on the Guardians' elite defense, which helps to account for the FIP discrepancy, since that stat is influenced heavily by strikeout rates.
Cleveland's top three carried the rotation the whole year, with Bieber leading the AL in innings pitched, and McKenzie growing into a force down the stretch. However, entering the playoffs, Sports Illustrated ranked them the lowest of any rotation among playoff teams.
Overall, they are a deep, young group that is in good shape to help them remain competitive for years to come. That being said, look for Guardians GM Mike Chernoff to be opportunistic with moves to improve this group during the offseason.