Cleveland Indians’ Top Pitching Targets

Cleveland Indians’ Top Pitching Targets

by June 22, 2021 0 comments

The starting rotation has been the identity of the Cleveland Indians for the majority of the Tito Francona era. However, they finally have a serious problem with talent and depth in their rotation and it needs to be fixed immediately.

With Shane Bieber and Zach Plesac on the IL and the struggles with former top prospect Triston McKenzie, the Indians ask their bullpen to do too much. Even when everyone gets back from injuries, they still need a guy you can trust to pitch every five games. With plenty of affordable (which is a big part of this) talent available, the Indians cannot afford to sit back and hope. They need to be aggressive and find another arm.

1. Kyle Gibson, RHP, Texas Rangers

Could be the very underrated player to be moved at some point this season. He is 33-years-old and is having a career year for a very bad Texas Rangers team. In 77.2 IP he has a 2.09 ERA with 61 SOs and a WHIP of 1.030. Not only is he having a career year, but he is also locked into 2022 for a very friendly $7 million. There will not be a better player available for cheap, which is perfect for the Indians.

2. Tyler Anderson, LHP, Pittsburgh Pirates

Before getting smashed against the Braves earlier in the year, his ERA was a respectable 3.50. Currently, he is sitting at 4.89 with 65 SOs and a WHIP of 1.262. So, at face value, his stats are not very good.

However, he has two qualities that could entice the Indians into a trade.

  1. He is a left-handed pitcher
  2. He is very cheap

The Indians tried to force a southpaw into the rotation with Logan Allen, however, that did not work out. Anderson is only under contract for this season for 2.5 million, which is good because he is cheap, and if he does not return to his early-season success, you can just let him walk.

3. Merrill Kelly, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks

Kelly is 32-years-old and the Diamondbacks are in horrible shape, so it makes no sense to hold onto an aging arm whose value will never be higher. Much like Anderson, he has gotten shelled recently so his numbers are a little inflated. Contract wise, Kelly is under control until 2025, when he will be in his age 36 season. If a change of scene is what Kelly needs, then Cleveland would be smart to kick the tires. If he doesn’t work out, then his 2022 team option would be declined.

State Of The Tribe

At the end of the day, the Cleveland Indians will not be going after the really big names like Max Scherzer or even John Means. They will always be a team that goes after the underrated player. It seems that in the post-Francisco Lindor era, they value depth over talent.

So far, with a 39-30 record, they have proven that they are talented, and could make a surprise run in a fairly wide-open American League.

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