Where Do the Indians Rank in Terms of Top Rotations in All of Baseball Entering 2020?
If the Indians are going to compete in 2020, the team is going to have to get a very good effort from their starting rotation.
Keeping healthy is one of the major keys of the starting five, but also being consistent and throwing well right out of the gate is another huge key for this club.
With an outfield with plenty of question marks but full of talent, an infield that should be solid, and then a starting rotation that can be very good if they throw to their potential, the Indians feel they are ready to compete and be in the thick of things in the AL Central.
Today MLB.com came out with their “Top 10” in terms of starting rotations around the Majors, and the Indians are very high on their list, coming in at number four.
The site has the Indians going with the following to start the year in the rotation: Shane Bieber, Mike Clevinger, Carlos Carrasco, Adam Plutko and Zach Plesac.
Aaron Civale isn’t mentioned as a starter, but he’s thrown well in “summer camp” and it wouldn’t be a shock if he earns his way into the rotation while Plutko is in the bullpen as the long man.
It would be nice to have a lefty in the starting five for the Indians, but it’s still a very strong rotation with Bieber and Clevinger as the two staples at the top.
Here’s what MLB.com had to say about the Tribe rotation:
To trade away Bauer and Corey Kluber in the span of five months last year and still make this list is a testament to the pitching factory the Indians have put together. They had some bumps and bruises in Spring Training Version 1.0 -- Clevinger had left knee surgery and Carrasco had right elbow inflammation -- but are back up and running now.
Clevinger’s 152 ERA+ over the past three seasons is the fifth-best among those with at least 400 innings pitched, and Bieber’s ceiling might be even higher. Plesac (124 ERA+ in 115 2/3 innings in 2019) and Aaron Civale (202 ERA+ in 57 2/3 innings) flourished in unexpected opportunities last year, and the Indians have more depth options (most notably, Civale) on their 60-man list.
According to MLB.com the top rotation in all of baseball heading into the season are the defending World Champion Washington Nationals.
Second on the list are the Tampa Bay Rays, followed by the Cincinnati Reds in the third spot, with the Tribe coming in fourth on the list.
If there is more good news on the list it’s that none of the other AL Central teams made it in the top 10 or even in the “Honorable Mention” section.