New era of Guardians pitching is here
The last five games have given Cleveland Guardians fans a glimpse at the future of their pitching rotation, a future that appears to be drawing ever closer. Logan Allen and Tanner Bibee both made their major league debuts for Cleveland as they were able to earn their first major league wins. Allen and Bibee are the two pitchers who are part of the next wave of Guardians pitching and should become rotation mainstays rather quickly.
Allen brings something that Cleveland has been lacking for some time, a left-handed starter. While it does seem trivial, being able to have at least one lefty in the mix forces the opposing manager to think about his lineup and make changes accordingly. Making the other manager actually manage instead of being on autopilot is something that does not necessarily get talked about often, but there is something to forcing an opponent to alter their lineup. Add in the fact that Allen was able to strike out eight in his debut and it appears that the Guardians finally have that ever elusive left-handed starter who could stick around in their rotation.
Bibee dazzled in his debut and performed as advertised. Also striking out eight in his debut, Bibee looks like the real deal. Bibee has both velocity and command, two very desirable traits in pitchers, and even looks like Justin Verlander.
There is still a long way to become what Verlander has become, even if Bibee is a fraction of that it would be a big time addition to their rotation, an addition that they found themselves needing in the worst way.
The current plan per Terry Francona is for both pitchers to stay with the team with Allen even slotted to start Sunday. Things could change down the line when other options become healthy and/if they experience any growing pains facing major league hitting as the season progresses. Even if there are struggles of some sort the duo could remain in Cleveland rather than returning to Columbus. This is due to some of their pitching options they have turned to this season having issues in one way or another.
Having young and productive pitching options in their rotation that can also give them length would help settle the rest of the pitching staff. Being able to get their rotation in order while relegating a few options to multi-inning relief pitchers would allow the Guardians pitching staff to live up to their potential that everyone knows is there.
Allen and Bibee represent the dawn of the new era of Guardians pitching. These are the first two of the new crop of pitchers who will lead the team in the future. Being able to integrate these two promising pitchers now rather than later will help the group grow as a cohesive unit and not be backed into a corner at an undesirable time. They will be able to turn to the more experienced guys in the clubhouse for guidance and simultaneously be valuable members of the pitching staff.