Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Breaking down the Indians rotation
By Jason Catania
The Cleveland Indians may have improved their offense this winter with acquisitions of Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher, among others, but the back-end of the rotation remains a potential weak spot that needs to be figured out.
Cleveland has certainly brought in a number of candidates this offseason, including Brett Myers, Trevor Bauer, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Scott Kazmir.
As the Plain Dealer's Paul Hoynes writes, the front four in the rotation appear to be shaping up, with Opening Day starter Justin Masterson, Ubaldo Jimenez, Myers and Zach McAllister as virtual locks.
Beyond the names already mentioned, there's still, Corey Kluber, David Huff and Carlos Carrasco, who missed almost all of 2012 recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Acquired from the Diamondbacks this winter, Bauer has the highest upside of anyone who is not currently a near-lock for the rotation -- and frankly, maybe the highest upside of any arm in the entire organization -- but the Indians may choose to return him to the minors while seeing if one of the other candidates is worth a shot.
ESPN Insider's Keith Law chimes in with his take on Bauer:
Keith LawThe plan for Bauer
"I doubt Cleveland acquired Bauer with the intent of sending him down this April, but the Indians do have a number of suspects in camp fighting for the fifth spot, and Bauer's remaining options could put him on the outside, at least temporarily. I expect Bauer to be healthy this spring, throwing harder, and working more aggressively to get ahead with the fastball and to stop trying to get hitters to chase once he falls behind. He's a bright pitcher but he racked up strikeouts in college with power stuff more than guile."