The Cleveland Guardians' starting rotation is a huge problem moving forward

The Cleveland Guardians' starting rotation is in shambles, and there just isn't much the team is going to be able to do about it this season.
Los Angeles Angels v Cleveland Guardians
Los Angeles Angels v Cleveland Guardians / Ron Schwane/GettyImages

Right now, how confident are you in any of the Cleveland Guardians' starting pitchers?

Sure, you could say Ben Lively, who has so far been a revelation for the team, but how long will he be able to pitch at this level, even with his increased and improved usage of the sinker?

But, aside from the surprising Lively, every starter the Guardians are throwing out there each night is a mixed bag at best. Triston McKenzie, Tanner Bibee, Logan Allen, and Carlos Carrasco are all struggling. McKenzie is already pitching with an elbow injury he's trying to power through, while Allen and Bibee are experiencing extreme sophomore slumps to this point. As for Carrasco, he's a great story, but the team can no longer truly rely on him, either.

And with Gavin Williams on the 60-day IL and Shane Bieber already shelved for the season, the Guardians' rotation is, essentially, in shambles.

The problem is, there just isn't much Cleveland can do about it right now. Wes Parsons and Xzavion Curry are potential options down in Triple-A, but that doesn't inspire a ton of confidence. Joey Cantillo, a top pitching prospect, has yet to pitch this year thanks to a hamstring injury, and Doug Nikhazy, who was off to such a hot start in Akron, is on the shelf with an oblique injury himself.

In other words, things are grim down in the minors, too.

How Can the Guardians Fix the Rotation?

It's... not going to be easy, and if the season starts to fall apart, this is likely how it's going to start.

Now, there are going to be some decent external options available as we move closer to the trade deadline. We've talked about Paul Blackburn as a potential trade target this summer, and the Guardians should start looking at the Marlins to see what they can grab from that staff as well, since Miami is already in fire-sale mode.

However, there are many teams in contention, and the price tag for any starter - especially one a team can control beyond 2024 - is going to be high. And the Guardians are no doubt shy about trading talent having been stung on recent deals. But you know what? Ask the Braves how they feel about dealing all those prospects away for Matt Olsen and Sean Murphy, or whether the Brewers really miss anyone dealt in that Christian Yelich trade.

If the Guardians truly want to stay in contention, they are going to have to make some moves by the trade deadline to get some proven starting pitching help. It doesn't have to be an elite, front-line arm, but maybe someone just above simply having a pulse. Cleveland's season isn't going to survive any other way.