Analyzing The 2020 Cleveland Indians Bullpen
Having a stellar bullpen is important for any Major League Baseball team that wants to contend for a World Series. The bullpen is made-up of the pitchers that finish the final innings of a game in relief to secure a victory.
While relievers may not face many batters in each appearance, the hitters they do face are extremely important and the situations they are placed in are timely.
The Indians have plenty of names including James Hoyt, Phil Maton, Hunter Wood, Adam Cimber, Oliver Perez, Nick Wittgren and Brad Hand.
Unfortunately, reliever Emmanuel Clase is suspended for this entire shortened-season due to performance enhancing drug use. This man was the key piece in the Corey Kluber trade with the Texas Rangers.
It was originally an 80-game suspension, but with the circumstances is now simply a full 60-game-season suspension.
Anyway, it looks like Hoyt, Maton, Wood, Cimber and Perez are just going to be middle-relievers. Perez is a left-hander and can thus specialize against left-handed hitters for a more-difficult matchup.
Cimber, after making some adjustments to the mechanics of that sidearm delivery, is poised to be a dominant force moving forward.
Hoyt, Maton and Wood are all going to have to earn respect this upcoming season in order to be used in key situations and will likely remain in middle relief.
Nick Wittgren will serve as the setup man. Appearing in 55 games last season with a 2.81 ERA, which is solid. The right-hander even had four saves. It’ll be key to see if the 8th inning is too much pressure.
Finally, the one that notched 34 saves as the closer in Brad Hand will continue to be in that position for this upcoming year. Certainly, that is a reliable pitcher to count on for the final three outs and a victory.
“Pitching, pitching, pitching.” It is the oldest saying in the books. However, that includes all pitchers and not simply the starter for each specific game. Obviously, most affairs do not entail a complete game pitching-wise.
Thus, bullpen arms are required for any team that wants to contend for a championship, even simply a division title.
Frankly, this is going to be a bizarre season no matter what happens. The Tribe should try and limit that as much as possible by having the best outings and system in general by those in relief. It will make for a fall that could end in a playoff run and even a World Series opportunity.
After all of this waiting, that is what the fans yearn for…