The future looks bright because of the Indians starting rotation
When the 2014 season started the Indians had some question marks in their starting rotation.
Justin Masterson was the anchor of the rotation in 2013 posting a 14-10 record with a 3.45 ERA and made his first all-star appearance. He came into this season as the unquestioned ace of the staff, but with free agency on the horizon questions loomed about his future.
Corey Kluber was a pleasant surprise in 2013 as he posted an 11-5 record with a 3.85 ERA, but there were questions if his breakout was real and if he could duplicate it.
Young prospect Danny Salazar had a nice debut in 2013 and started the one game wildcard playoff versus Tampa Bay, but he had durability and experience concerns coming into 2014.
Zach McAllister was looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2013 campaign in which he injured his finger and went on the disabled list in June after a solid start to the season. After returning from the disabled list he was never the same as he struggled to throw his curveball after the injury.
Carlos Carrasco was given yet another opportunity to claim a rotation spot after struggling to do so the past few seasons. He excelled in a bullpen role in 2013, but was out of options and was a wildcard for the pitching staff coming into the season.
Even with all of those questions coming into the season, the Indians got plenty of answers – most of them good.
Masterson got off to a terrible start in 2014 and never seemed to recover posting a 4-6 record with a 5.51 ERA before being traded to St. Louis on July 30th for outfield prospect James Ramsey. He struggled with consistency all season and his stuff took a decided step back, which in turn destroyed his chances for a big contract in free agency this offseason.
Kluber assumed the role of staff ace after pitching like one all season. After his breakout showing in 2013, he one upped it and developed into one of the best pitchers in baseball in 2014 and is a Cy Young award candidate after posting an 18-9 record with a 2.44 ERA. He led the major leagues this season in strikeouts with 269 in 235.2 innings pitched. At age 28 he is coming into his prime and is under contract through 2018. He was a model of consistency all season.
Carrasco bounced back and forth between the rotation and bullpen the last few seasons since having Tommy Johnsurgery in 2012. He started out in the rotation this season but struggled and was once again sent back to the bullpen. After pitching lights out in the bullpen he was reinserted back into the rotation in August and was dominant ever since. For the season Carrasco posted an 8-7 record with a 2.55 ERA. Since rejoining the rotation he continued to pitch from the stretch which carried over his bullpen dominance to the rotation. It appears at age 27 that Carrasco has finally figured it out and become a solid starting pitcher. He is under contract through 2017.
After a fine rookie debut in 2013, Salazar had an up and down season this year and spent some time at Triple-A Columbus. He struggled to perform at the high level he did in 2013 at the outset of the season performing poorly in his first eight starts which prompted a demotion to Columbus in May. Since returning on June 22nd he looked like a different pitcher. His velocity was up and his pitch command was much improved from earlier in the season. He finished the season at 6-8 with a 4.25 ERA. At 24 years of age the future is bright for this young flamethrower who is under control of the Indians through 2019.
Bauer made four starts in 2013 for Cleveland but something did not seem right with his delivery as his velocity was down and his control was very erratic. Bauer rededicated himself in the 2013 offseason working with pitching coachMickey Callaway on fixing the flaws in his delivery and getting his velocity back to the mid 90’s. He was sent to Columbus to start the 2014 season. After performing well at Columbus he was called up to the Indians in May and became a regular part of the rotation. He posted a 5-8 record with a 4.18 ERA and showed the promise and velocity everyone had been excited about when he was acquired.
Rounding out the rotation for the second half of the season was an unlikely candidate in left hander T.J. House. He was drafted by the Indians in 2008 and did not perform well in his first three professional seasons in the Indians minor league system before breaking out in 2012. He was called up from Columbus in June, and after a brief return to Columbus and briefly pitching out of the bullpen and a few spot starts he established himself as the fifth starter once Masterson was traded. He posted some impressive numbers for a pitcher who was an afterthought before the season, going 5-3 with a 3.35 ERA. He is under control of the Indians through 2020.
Zach McAllister opened the season in the rotation but once again struggled with consistency and spent time on the disabled list and never regained his spot. He pitched well the last month of the season out of the bullpen. Perhaps he can follow in the footsteps of Carlos Carrasco and put it together in 2015.
As you can see, the future of the Cleveland Indians starting rotation is very promising. If they continue to develop and perform as they did this season, they give the Indians a chance to compete in the American League for many years to come. So despite a disappointing 2014 season in which the Indians fell short of the post-season, there is plenty to be excited about going forward. It all starts with the starting rotation.
I think the Dolans may be more gun shy now, particularly after getting burned with Bourn and Swisher. Both are essentially 8, and 9 hitters in this lineup and are the highest paid players. That is sad. That's FA.
The best pen prospect right now is Shawn Armstrong, IMHO. He should be added to the 40 man roster this offseason and get some big league experience next yr.
As for Dayan Viciedo, I have my doubts he's non-tendered, but it's possible. The Tribe could slide Murphy into 4th OF role, I think he'd fit better there, he has experience in all three spots. Btw, I think Viciedo hit .230 and 12-13 hrs last yr...it would be banking on a rebound.
I agree they need a right handed bat but they need to get a decent one. There are options for a RH bat in the minors, and I still would like to see what Aguilar can do at the major league level. They need to get a BIG TIME BAT. Not some experiment or a retread who they are banking on having a turnaround season. My dream scenario would be for the Dolans to sack the fu^k up and shell out some $$$$$$$ for Yasmani Thomas. Right handed power hitter that could hit 40 homeruns at progressive field. You wouldn't have to deplete your farm system, and you get an OF that could be another Giancarlo Stanton.
Great minds think alike.
I agree with you on the OF and 3B situation but would only add that the team does need another right handed bat that can drive in runs. I also agree with you on using the minor league situation and Naquin is a good player along with Ramsey. I agree also that Shaw isn't a setup man and Ideally would love to see another closer besides Allen
I heard that too so he probably won't be let go(Trumbo). Viciedo is someone I would definitely be interested in and also Justin Smoak if let go by the Mariners
"If they pitch to their potential." WHAT IF? THIS IS A TRIBE TOWN!
I am not a fan of Shaw in the setup role. Cody Allen isn't bad, and he produces a lot of punch outs for a closer, but I need to see BETTER from him at times.
I am with you on getting viciedo if he is let go. I want Trumbo if they dont get Viciedo. However, based on this article. http://www.foxsports.com/arizona/story/d-backs-gm-stewart-expects-big-things-of-mark-trumbo-100214
It seems like the new Diamondbacks GM is a fan of Trumbo, so they might not get rid of him.
that being said i have 0.0 faith in this front office to do anything right. they'll probably play it safe and sign more garbage players trying to catch lightning again
You also can't just look at 2015 salaries when considering whether or not we can afford a player of V-Marts caliber. Every year beyond 2015's payroll must be considered. For example, in 2016 we have around 9 million coming off the books with Murphy and Raburn, but we will also be giving 7.75 million in raises to Kip, Santana, Brantley, and Gomez because of backloaded deals.That number increases to 9.75 for the 2017 seasons. We also have a number of good players seeing arbitration for the 2nd time that season (Carrasco, Chiz, Shaw) as well as some arb 1 players that I would expect to get hefty raises (Allen, Kluber, Hagadone). Without making any moves at all we could potentially see our payroll increase substantially (Maybe 10 million or so) from 2015 to 2016 giving us a payroll of 85 millionish. I expect some trades to be made as some guys start getting more expensive, but Vmart would cost 15 million or so a year, and that would put our payroll around 100 million for 2016. That will happen....never.
Raburn (Salary is to big to dump and could surprise some people)
House (Most consistent pitcher this year not named Kluber)
*Murphy is traded to the Cardinals because the Cardinals need someone who can at least hit the broad side of a barn and can play out field. We get prospect Tyrell Jenkins (A) potential starter or power bullpen arm.
Insofar as the trade talk for Donaldson or Stanton is concerned, or any other power hitter for that matter, the Indians farm system is as relevant as it has ever been. There are a lot of good prospects there, and I would not like to see the guts ripped out for a player for 2-3 years. I am not young, but I would sooner wait a year or two, and see how the Bradley's and the Frazier's progress, before I sell the farm. I think the long wait for a Championship has jaundiced a lot of our views, and we want to win now !!! If a deal is not there that we can comfortably live with, then don't do the deal. And wait another year or two.
Joe Chengery, where are you ?
The fans who participate here are pretty knowledgeable it seems to me, and it seems to me that you aren't telling us anything we don't already know. I'd really like to have some more and deeper insight into where it is that Bauer and Salazar are still struggling (I have my own sense, but what does an expert see, or even better, what does Callaway have to say?), or how to more deeply understand the difference between Carrasco v2013 and v2014? Or what is it about House that has suddenly transformed him from an "afterthought" into an (almost!) solid ML pitcher?
In other words, I can easily look up stats and see how many years they are controlled for, would just love to hear more back-story...anyway, keep up the good work...
And sure, Donaldson would be a fine addition, who know if he's available, as Beane is very unpredictable, and not always the best trade partner, so its all rather silly speculation imo...8--)
is it time for Ronnie Rodriguez to be pushed up to AAA?? Do you think Luigi Rodriguez starts in AA and then gets pushed up once the Indians clear space in AAA?? Is Tony Wolters the heir to Mike Aviles??
it's negotiable. That would be my initial offer but not the final offer. Have to negotiate and walk away from the table if need be. To say the Indians don't have the prospects like you said yesterday is absurd. The Indians have the prospects to pull it off the question is if they can agree to which ones to give up.
don't care if he's tall or not but what I do care about is if he can hit and hit from the right hand side. Idk why his height is of any relevance in this... Viciedo, IMO just needs a change of scenery. I like him a really good rotational player along with Murphy. Don't know what you're looking for but it sounds strange. I totally disagree with you on CC Lee. Lee has the stuff and the delivery to be very good. He seems to at times lose command and needs to work on overall consistency. He had stretches where he was very good. I think his time is coming next year and I expect good things from him... I thought House was more consistent than both Salazar and Bauer,
I totally agree with you on McAllister. McALlister can only throw a fastball and I think the FO and Mgr have already made up in mind that he's going to be in the bullpen where he is of big help
W/R to Danny DeVito's brother.. the funds the team generates..all of them are spent on the team by Mr Dolan. Free Agency is fools gold and should not be utilized as a source of talent.. Trades of players.. bad contracts for bad contracts.. prospects for established stars.. is the only currency the Indians has used that has resulted in an improvement to the team..
Going out a dumping millions on a FA...has been bad.. the Indians FO should have taken that $$$$, made a big pile on the home run porch (its not being used much)..and lit it on fire.. Call it the "Useful FA Fire"...
Using scarce resources for FA players.. remains a waste of time..
@ Hiram.. Donaldson's a shrimp with a fast bat.. pass..
-Viciedo is a lazy & a poor defender.. pass..
-CC Lee isn't a ML reliever.. he may trick a few hitter..but not for long..
-House is # 4, Salazar is # 5
Look at my lineup:
BTW, we had it wrong this season. House deserved to be the #3 guy because he was far more consistent than both Salazar and Bauer
Bullpen(if they go with seven, which is a bit overkill)
McAllister(Wade Davis clone)
Shaw(not an 8th inning guy)
Sign a couple of nice SP's for AAA to go with Tomlin(I personally think it's time to move on from him)
Add make sure you developing Anderson, Morimando and others who are in AA. Indians really need to push up the starting pitching because the stagnation of these guys is becoming alarming
If Bourn gets hurt you can call up Naquin, if Swisher gets hurt you can call up Aguilar. You are convered at each and every position in case someone gets hurt or isn't cutting it.
Look at the bullpen depth: