The Cleveland Guardians pitching rotation has been operating at less than full strength for the majority of the season. While this has opened up opportunities that rookie pitchers Tanner Bibee and Logan Allen have taken and ran with, there is no such thing as having too much pitching. This upcoming weekend will see two pitchers return, giving everyone a good look at what the future of the Guardians rotation.
Aaron Civale will make his return Friday after missing nearly two months and Triston McKenzie will make his season debut Sunday in Minnesota according to reports. The news is not all good, as Cal Quantrill is being shut down due to a shoulder injury. It was a rough start for Quantrill in his last outing and the shoulder issue clearly contributed to that. With how his season has gone and two pitchers who should be mainstays the rest of the season in their rotation, perhaps Quantrill makes a move to the bullpen to bolster that group and maximize his contributions. Quantrill seems like a pitcher who is good for one time through the rotation and then things get dicey. If Civale and McKenzie look like themselves it will make any sort of decision regarding a role transition that much easier.
Cleveland is entering a very crucial stretch in their season and they must take advantage of it while they can. The Guardians have three games remaining with the Twins after Thursday's loss and it is paramount that they close the gap in the division. The Guardians trail by 4.5 games entering Friday and seeing that gap grow would be a cause for panic. Should Cleveland take care of business like they should, the Guardians could make things a lot more interesting in the American League Central. This team is good enough and has shown the ability in short spurts to play better than what they have most of the season. The division is just begging to be won by a team not based in Minnesota, and with some rotation reinforcements on the way there is no time like the present to make their move.