Cleveland Guardians offseason outlook: starting rotation
“The Rest” of the 2022 Rotation
Aaron Civale and Zach Plesac were two other regular starters for the Guardians in 2022, and both are potential trade candidates this offseason. Civale (5-6, 4.92 ERA over 97 innings in 20 starts) dealt with multiple injuries before making it back at the end of the season and made the ALDS roster. Plesac (3-12, 4.31, 131.2 IP in 25 starts) suffered a hand injury when hitting the mound in anger after giving up a home run to Jake Lamb in a game against the Mariners in August. This cost him a spot on the playoff roster and continues a trend of concerning behavior that has worn thin on fans and teammates in Cleveland. Both Civale and Plesac have value as relatively low-cost mid-to-back-end rotation starters, so many teams will likely have interest if the Guardians do decide to move one or both. With several other starting options, it seems unlikely that both will be back in Cleveland in 2023.
Konnor Pilkington (1-2, 3.88, 58 IP over 15 games and 11 starts), Cody Morris (1-2, 2.28, seven games, five starts, 23 IP) and Xzavion Curry (9.1 IP over two starts) were all rookies who made their debuts with Cleveland in 2022. Of the three, Curry seems to have the highest upside, pitching last year at just 23 years old. Meanwhile, Pilkington provides a ready-made replacement for Civale or Plesac given that he threw a total of 114 2/3 innings between the minors last year. Meanwhile, Morris, who is already 25 years old, needs to prove that he can stay healthy in order to be more than an occasional depth piece.