Starting pitching continues to be area of need for the Cleveland Guardians

Kansas City Royals v Cleveland Guardians
Kansas City Royals v Cleveland Guardians / Nick Cammett/GettyImages
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Entering the season, everyone knew that the Cleveland Guardians were going to need to address their pitching staff at some point. Losing Shane Bieber for the year after just two starts and having to wait for Gavin Williams to make his 2024 season debut has only magnified these issues. Not helping matters are the rough outings as of late, making it even more important for the Guardians to make an acquisition of some type before the deadline.

The last two starts for Cleveland have come from Carlos Carrasco and Triston McKenzie, with both being rather forgettable outings. Carrasco gave up five runs on seven hits in 4 innings against a previously lifeless Washington Nationals club, while McKenzie spotted the Royals a five-run lead early on in Tuesday's contest before the Guardians staged their incredible comeback by scoring eight unanswered runs.

These two lackluster outings in back-to-back games appear to have made an impact on how the rotation is going to be handled, as Logan Allen was previously scheduled to start on Wednesday but has now been supplanted by Nick Sandlin. Obviously, Sandlin is not a starter and should not be expected to pitch more than 1-2 innings. This seems like a way to have Allen begin his appearance by not facing the top of the Royals lineup and ease into the game against the bottom third of the order. While this is clearly the right path to take, considering Allen's struggles this season, it speaks volumes about the performance of arms in Cleveland's rotation not named Tanner Bibee or Ben Lively.

Eventually, Williams will rejoin the Guardians' rotation and help stabilize this group, but that cannot be the only move that is made. Bumping Carrasco from the rotation, should that be the path they choose to take, is only going to do so much. Cleveland is going to need to add a starter via trade if they are going to make a run in the postseason. Even though they have managed to climb atop the surprisingly competitive American League Central, the group of starters in Cleveland is not what anyone would consider to be a playoff-caliber rotation as currently constructed. Adding a top or middle-of-the-rotation arm to this group changes that instantly, taking what has been a good story to start the year and transforming them into a genuine World Series contender.