2020 Starting Pitching Discussion

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Derek

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Right now, it seems as if we have a good idea who our rotation will be (assuming health) to start the season:

Clevinger (4.3 fWAR)
Bieber (4.6 fWAR)
Carrasco (3.5 fWAR)
Civale (1.4 fWAR)
Plesac (0.7 fWAR)

I feel really good about our top three. I feel ok about Civale, but I don't have much faith in Plesac.

Waiting in the wings, we have a few guys with MLB starts under their belts:
Adam Plutko
Logan Allen
Jefry Rodriguez

We also have a few guys knocking on the door:
Sam Hentges
Triston McKenzie
Scott Moss
Eli Morgan
Adam Scott

Out of the guys knocking on the door, we all know McKenzie. If he stays healthy, he could be a major contributor this summer.

Moss and Hentges are both big lefties, who many project to be bullpen arms. Hentges flamed out in Akron last year, but Moss had a solid season.

Morgan (RHP) and Scott (LHP) have been quick risers through the system, very similar to Bieber and Civale in that regard.
 

Urban

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Excited to see how Logan Allen bounces back this year. Pretty rough 2019 for him but is still only 22 years old with some MLB experience. The Clippers rotation to start the year is super strong.
 

AllforOne

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I really like the Indians' pitching heading into this season. The top two, I'll throw up there against anybody in baseball. If Cookie is healthy, he's good in the #3 role. Civale as #4, terrific. Plesac as #5, better than many/most #5s out there.

I like Plutko as the #6/spot starter/guy to slot in if there's an injury.

McKenzie, I think it's optimistic to project him to do much of anything. He missed much of 2018 and all of 2019. I'd just like to see him get back to taking the ball every fifth day, without the additional stress of doing so in, say, Yankee Stadium or Fenway.

I'm very optimistic (maybe unrealistically so) about Logan Allen. He was a very well-regarded prospect until his disaster of a 2019. But even at that, he was still whiffing a guy an inning. That tells me that he wasn't battling an injury or a loss in stuff. I'm hoping that working with the Indians' pitching staff will smooth out whatever kinks he developed last year, and get him back to the pitcher he was from 2015-2018. I think five years from now, he could stand out as the best player they got in the Bauer deal (and that's not to impugn Franmil).

Although the thread is nominally about the starters, I'm also pretty jazzed about the bullpen. A full season of Karinchak + Clase should really give the pen some juice. I'd add Jefry to the pen full-time -- he was dominant in the first inning of his appearances last season, still dominant (though maybe less so) in the second inning ... and then he seemed to fall off a cliff once batters were seeing him for the second or third time. Hand/Clase/Karinchak/Jefry could really have the makings of a power pen.
 

MadThinker88

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IF he is still around I have to think Plutko is getting a regular turn in the rotation (since he is out of options). That allows one of Civale/ Pleasac to have a regular turn in the Columbus rotation to stay stretched out if needed.

While Carrasco gets 1st shot to be in the rotation, his ability to go 100 pitches & be effective is key. The Tribe won't embarrass Cookie by continuing to start him when it is clear Cookie has nothing in the tank come the 4th inning/ 70 pitches.

Jefry Rodriguez makes a lot of sense in the bullpen (pairing with Hand/ Karinchak/ Clase) but Cookie could be as deadly in shorter appearances going a little more often & no more than 2 innings in an appearance..
 
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Stark

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I'm not as confident in our rotation as a lot of folks are.

Bieber and Clevinger both project to be top of the line starters, potentially Cy Young guys, if they can stay healthy next season. Not worried about that duo at all.

Outside of that, we've got a fair amount of question marks.

- Carrasco will be 33 next season and we all know everything that he's went through the past year. If he can regain some of his 2014-2018 form, then fantastic, but we're counting on him to be our #3 starter right now and he's far from a sure thing at the moment.
- Civale was pretty good in his ten starts last season, but he doesn't strike a lot of guys out, has a relatively sizable walk rate for a guy that doesn't strike a lot guys out, and still only has 58 innings of big league experience. I think he can definitely still be a solid contributor next season, but I'd expect his FIP to be around 3.75-4.25 over a full year of reps once teams start getting the book on him.
- Plesac ate a good amount of innings for us last season, but he honestly wasn't that great. FIP was almost 5 and he strikes out less batters and walks more than Civale. Again, he's only 25 years old and I'd assume he'll be better, but I'm not expecting anything ground breaking out of him.

Outside of that, we've got Plutko who I'm not particularly high on either (5.23 FIP, bad strikeout rate, 9.5 H/9 in '19) and a bunch of guys with extremely limited (Allen, Rodriguez) or no (McKenzie, Hentges, Moss) major league experience.

Would've really liked if we would have brought in a FA veteran starter on a one year deal to fight for a rotation spot if the young/inexperienced guys weren't 100% ready, but we've pretty much missed the boat on that. Notable remaining starters in FA are Jason Vargas (bleh), Tommy Milone (bigger bleh), Taijuan Walker (wouldn't mind a flier), and like... Chad Bettis?

I hope some of the young guns prove me wrong obviously, but out of the three main facets of our ballclub (lineup, bullpen, rotation), I'd definitely peg our rotation as the one that worries me the most right now.
 

sportscoach

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I'm not as confident in our rotation as a lot of folks are.

Bieber and Clevinger both project to be top of the line starters, potentially Cy Young guys, if they can stay healthy next season. Not worried about that duo at all.

Outside of that, we've got a fair amount of question marks.

- Carrasco will be 33 next season and we all know everything that he's went through the past year. If he can regain some of his 2014-2018 form, then fantastic, but we're counting on him to be our #3 starter right now and he's far from a sure thing at the moment.
- Civale was pretty good in his ten starts last season, but he doesn't strike a lot of guys out, has a relatively sizable walk rate for a guy that doesn't strike a lot guys out, and still only has 58 innings of big league experience. I think he can definitely still be a solid contributor next season, but I'd expect his FIP to be around 3.75-4.25 over a full year of reps once teams start getting the book on him.
- Plesac ate a good amount of innings for us last season, but he honestly wasn't that great. FIP was almost 5 and he strikes out less batters and walks more than Civale. Again, he's only 25 years old and I'd assume he'll be better, but I'm not expecting anything ground breaking out of him.

Outside of that, we've got Plutko who I'm not particularly high on either (5.23 FIP, bad strikeout rate, 9.5 H/9 in '19) and a bunch of guys with extremely limited (Allen, Rodriguez) or no (McKenzie, Hentges, Moss) major league experience.

Would've really liked if we would have brought in a FA veteran starter on a one year deal to fight for a rotation spot if the young/inexperienced guys weren't 100% ready, but we've pretty much missed the boat on that. Notable remaining starters in FA are Jason Vargas (bleh), Tommy Milone (bigger bleh), Taijuan Walker (wouldn't mind a flier), and like... Chad Bettis?

I hope some of the young guns prove me wrong obviously, but out of the three main facets of our ballclub (lineup, bullpen, rotation), I'd definitely peg our rotation as the one that worries me the most right now.
I don’t doubt though they will bring in a veteran starter on a minor league deal (a guy like a Tomlin, who is well liked and received would be a good idea. Bringing in guys who can help mentor these young guys would be the best idea.

Talent wise Plesac isn’t as high potentially as others, but he has a good attitude to him. You cannot teach his attitude, but he truly needs another secondary pitch that he can pitch to both sides. He has a decent secondary pitch for each side, but he needs another kind out pitch as well. Kluber was a so-so prospect until he found an additional pitch. Plesac to me is the same way, he needs to add another pitch for him to get over the jump of being a McAllister potential or a Kluber potential in a sense.

Civale surprised all of us with his ability. He was throwing harder than we thought he could without losing his command. He isn’t flashy but despite the reports saying he couldn’t stay a starter, he keeps proving the reports wrong. I mean the success he started out with will fade some but I think his approach so much like Kluber’s will help him have a good season. He may go under the radar but I think he will be fine as a 4th/5th starter. He showed the right poise and command to make it in the pros.

Plutko to me is the guy all teams need since he can just eat inning. I always build a roster with a long reliever/spot starter so Plutko fits this really well. We are keeping 13 pitchers and the other guys have better arms, if he stays on the roster he will do a lot of innings in mop up or blow out situations. That will be his job just to eat innings and filll in for guys who are hurt or have bad days.

I don’t know a ton about Jefry, Logan Allen etc, but more than likely our AAA crew will be one to watch. Jefry, Allen, Moss, Morgan and whoever wins the last spot. Then we still have Scott, McKenzie, Morris etc as well with likely Tully and Hentges at AA. Both rosters will have scary starting pitching in the minors as well.
 

Derek

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To continue the discussion from another thread @Steve_424

Last year's starting pitching:
930.1 IP
3.81 ERA

I'm a little wary of Civale and Plesac (more so Plesac), but a returning Carrasco is better than what we threw out there most days, and like I said before, Clevinger missed a dozen starts. Even if his production dips, he'll bring more value across 30 starts than 21.
 

petes999

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I implied it yesterday but will say it clearly now, what the rotation is lacking is a number 3 starter that can dominate come playoffs. Last year, I thought we had a decent chance to compete in playoffs as we had Kluber, Bauer, Beiber and Clevinger battling for best rotation in baseball, all with #2 starter potential. Kluber aged and got injured. Bauer let his emotions get the best of him. Cookie unfortunately had to deal with cancer and we had a few youngsters step up where we still did decent. Yet, if we got to the playoffs, Beiber and Clevinger could have advantage of any 1-2 combo of any team to help offset deficiency in hitting compared to NYYs, Houston and Minni. We would have been exposed at #3/#4 spot, especially vs better hitting teams.

We have a lot of potential but Not the same as last year.

Plesac and Civale are more than likely will stay where they were or regress. Neither were a top prospect and played up. Civale could be a decent starter but not potential of Klubers, Beibers, .... Even though he was drafted ahead of Beiber, there was something evaluaters saw to rank Beiber highly after first year in pro ball. Civale was still seen as a reliever before last year.

Rodriquez .... was sub 200 BA in first 25 pitches. Next 25, BA against doubled.

McK — even if healthy last year, he would have been on pitch count during 2nd half... not a starter for Indians this year as he needs to be stretched (reliever maybe).

Plutko — spot starter at best

Allen — I hope he finds the flaw but he didn’t even have good AAA numbers ... but best option we have besides Cookie

Cookie — I hope he comes back but if we dissed Kluber’s chances due to injury and age .... Cookie will need stamina something cancer robs you of (my friend has Lukemia and it zaps you).

Others aren’t even top 15 prospects for us for a reason... lucky to be 4/5 pitchers rather than fill that crucial #3 spot needed to eat innings and be counted on to be advantage against other teams.

And, yes, we have a bunch of potential as even Kluber wasn’t a top prospect. Yet, it took him to year 3 years of Columbus - Cleveland back and forth to solidify himself with below 4 ERA by fine tuning all corrections Cle taught him. Allen is the best shot as he has good stuff but a flaw or two ... others need seasoning ... but not that #3 starter who can play like #2 starter that we need to offset hitting. Even if we sign another Santana, Houston, Minni, NYY have a clear hitting advantage where we need that pitching advantage we had in March of last year.
 
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Derek

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Maybe I’m overly optimistic, but I’m expecting Cookie to be Cookie.
 

Derek

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I implied it yesterday but will say it clearly now, what the rotation is lacking is a number 3 starter that can dominate come playoffs. Last year, I thought we had a decent chance to compete in playoffs as we had Kluber, Bauer, Beiber and Clevinger battling for best rotation in baseball, all with #2 starter potential. Kluber aged and got injured. Bauer let his emotions get the best of him. Cookie unfortunately had to deal with cancer and we had a few youngsters step up where we still did decent. Yet, if we got to the playoffs, Beiber and Clevinger could have advantage of any 1-2 combo of any team to help offset deficiency in hitting compared to NYYs, Houston and Minni. We would have been exposed at #3/#4 spot, especially vs better hitting teams.

We have a lot of potential but Not the same as last year.

Plesac and Civale are more than likely will stay where they were or regress. Neither were a top prospect and played up. Civale could be a decent starter but not potential of Klubers, Beibers, .... Even though he was drafted ahead of Beiber, there was something evaluaters saw to rank Beiber highly after first year in pro ball. Civale was still seen as a reliever before last year.

Rodriquez .... was sub 200 BA in first 25 pitches. Next 25, BA against doubled.

McK — even if healthy last year, he would have been on pitch count during 2nd half... not a starter for Indians this year as he needs to be stretched (reliever maybe).

Plutko — spot starter at best

Allen — I hope he finds the flaw but he didn’t even have good AAA numbers ... but best option we have besides Cookie

Cookie — I hope he comes back but if we dissed Kluber’s chances due to injury and age .... Cookie will need stamina something cancer robs you of (my friend has Lukemia and it zaps you).

Others aren’t even top 15 prospects for us for a reason... lucky to be 4/5 pitchers rather than fill that crucial #3 spot needed to eat innings and be counted on to be advantage against other teams.

And, yes, we have a bunch of potential as even Kluber wasn’t a top prospect. Yet, it took him to year 3 years of Columbus - Cleveland back and forth to solidify himself with below 4 ERA by fine tuning all corrections Cle taught him. Allen is the best shot as he has good stuff but a flaw or two ... others need seasoning ... but not that #3 starter who can play like #2 starter that we need to offset hitting. Even if we sign another Santana, Houston, Minni, NYY have a clear hitting advantage where we need that pitching advantage we had in March of last year.
While I'm not sold on Plesac (who was our #14 prospect prior to being called up), I do have some faith in Civale and I think you're severely underrating some of our options for the 5 spot.

We'll need to see how healthy McKenzie is after not pitching last year, but thankfully it was a back strain and not arm issues. He has no problem pitching deep into ball games and eating innings previously.

I really like Adam Scott. He's risen through the system so quickly, having success at each stop. He's pitched across five levels in just under a season and a half. I think he's more likely to contribute in 2021 than this upcoming season, but I'm a big fan.

Logan Allen, I just haven't seen enough of. However, he was a top 100 guy prior to his call up last season, so the arm talent is there, and our organization has a great history of player development.
 

macbdog

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The guy that Logan Allen needed to sit with and take notes for a year was Corey Kluber. Alas, I have to hope that the Tribe downloaded his training program before he left so maybe he can still help Logan. Also can't help but root for a Logan.
 

sportscoach

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While I'm not sold on Plesac (who was our #14 prospect prior to being called up), I do have some faith in Civale and I think you're severely underrating some of our options for the 5 spot.

We'll need to see how healthy McKenzie is after not pitching last year, but thankfully it was a back strain and not arm issues. He has no problem pitching deep into ball games and eating innings previously.

I really like Adam Scott. He's risen through the system so quickly, having success at each stop. He's pitched across five levels in just under a season and a half. I think he's more likely to contribute in 2021 than this upcoming season, but I'm a big fan.

Logan Allen, I just haven't seen enough of. However, he was a top 100 guy prior to his call up last season, so the arm talent is there, and our organization has a great history of player development.
honestly Plesac wasn’t our #14 prospect until he got a couple big league starts then everyone was like, he should be ranked. I watched rankings all season and he was unranked (not in our top 30) until he got to the bigs and got a few big league starts. He was bandwagon ranked in a sense. Plesac to me is lacking another out pitch to both sides of the plate. Slider is only to right handers and his change up is mostly to lefties. He has a curve as well, but to me that curve/something else needs to be developed in a sense to an out pitch to both sides. I think once he does that, his game should be way better.

I kind of hope I don’t see Scott this season in Cleveland to be honest. We need a healthy season and with Scott being like 10ish on the SP depth chart and like 6 area on lefty in the organization, seeing him would say injuries. We need a clean bill of health to get back into the playoffs.

Im actually curious about how Logan Allen and Moss do next season. Both guys will start out as starters, but could be relievers late in the season. Moss wasn’t supposed to be a starter, but he did really well in the minors for the Tribe last season, so we shall have to see Since everyone is projecting him not to be a starter.
 

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