The Cleveland Guardians originally planned to have Shane Bieber make his next start Monday against the Pittsburgh Pirates, but now things have changed. Bieber underwent an MRI on his right arm according to reports and will miss his scheduled start Monday. The team will have Logan Allen start on Tuesday with a potential bullpen day in place of Bieber per MLB.com's Mandy Bell.
A potential injury to his pitching arm would explain why his recent outings have not been up to his standard. That does not make this situation any more comforting however as Bieber is considered to be a very important part of Cleveland's staff as they push for their second straight division title.
Things were already going to be difficult enough as-is for the Guardians, but this would potentially a big blow should Bieber miss a significant amount of time. Cleveland's rotation is already without Triston McKenzie and losing a veteran arm of his caliber would be far from ideal.
At the current moment in time there is just one arm in Cleveland's rotation with experience beyond this season, that pitcher being Aaron Civale. Civale has been solid since returning from the injured list this season, but the risk of reinjury is always a concern. Between McKenzie and Civale, banking on either being healthy for an extended period is not a wise decision.
With the playoff hopes of the Guardians hanging in the balance over the next couple of weeks, this is really bad timing. Although this probably does put an end to any sort of trade rumors involving Bieber this season and opens them up for the upcoming offseason. It could also tilt any of Cleveland's trade deadline plans towards more of a sell than buy mode. While having the choice of what direction possibly taken away from them is not what anyone hoped for, having the decision potentially made without their input could allow the team to focus on a singular approach rather than having every option under consideration.