There was an update on a possible return timeline for Guardians pitcher Shane Bieber and it was not good. The team has transferred Bieber to the 60-day injured list which will keep him out until at least September 10th. This move came ahead of Monday's loss to Kansas City which also saw Cleveland option Tim Herrin to Triple-A Columbus while selecting the contract of Daniel Norris.
Bieber's inital placement on the injured list goes back to July 12th and being transferred to the 60-day IL will also use that as the initial start date. The 28-year old has been able to avoid surgery, but is still a little bit away from beginning a throwing program.
As far as a potential return of Bieber to Cleveland's rotation is concerned, this would seem to be tied to where the Guardians sit in the American League Central division standings. Entering Tuesday the team trails the Minnesota Twins by four games as the two contending ballclubs appear to be heading in opposite directions. Time is running out for Cleveland to make a run for the posteason, should they be out of it come September it would not be a surprise to see Bieber be shut down for the rest of the season.
Bieber was solid, but unspectacular prior to the injury. A 3.77 ERA and 1.248 WHIP were the highest since his rookie season in 2018. Meanwhile, Bieber's 7.3 K/9 was the lowest mark of his career. These numbers combined with reduced velocity were a cause for concern, although the elbow imflammation he has been experiencing could be contributing factors here.
Cleveland's front office will have a decision to make in regards to Bieber's future with the team. There was plenty of speculation that the team could move Bieber this season, but landing on the injured list ended any chance of a deadline deal completely. The Guardians will have to weigh their options and consider whether they will be better with Bieber on their roster or with the package they could get in return for the former Cy Young Award winner.