After contentious discussions, the MLB lockout is over and teams have begun their spring training schedules. Opening Day has been pushed to April 14, which gives teams some extra time to finalize their rosters and rotations. In this series, TGH will be summarizing each team’s 2021 season and predicting their Opening Day pitching rotation. Here is the projected Cleveland Guardians pitching rotation for 2022.
Cleveland’s baseball team played their last season under their old moniker, the “Indians,” in 2021. It was a down year for the franchise, as they finished the season under .500 (80-82). Despite that record, they still managed to get second in the AL Central, which was uncompetitive last season.
They also earned the dubious “honor” of being the only team to be victims of no-hitters three times in a single season. Two of them were to long-standing rivals, the White Sox and the Reds. The third was a combined no-hitter thrown by the Brewers.
The team may have a new name, but still have familiar faces to put into the pitching rotation. Here is a peek at what the Guardians’ rotation may look like.
1. Shane Bieber
Bieber is the clear Opening Day starter given the Guardians’ options. In 16 total starts, he won seven games and lost four. He collected a respectable ERA of 3.17, but only pitched 96.2 innings in 2021. He also grabbed an All Star nod and struck out 134 batters.
2. Zach Plesac
Plesac could possibly be lower in the rotation, but got enough work in 2021 to possibly earn the second spot. In 142.2 innings pitched, Plesac had a 4.67 ERA. However, he did manage to grab 10 wins in 25 games started.
3. Cal Quantrill
Quantrill was a big surprise for Cleveland in 2021, putting up a tiny ERA of 2.89 in over 140 innings pitched. He played in 40 games, but started in just 22, going 8-3 on the season. He is also a decent strikeout pitcher, fanning 121 last season. He has clearly earned his way into the lineup full time.
4. Aaron Civale
Civale had a bit less work than the men above him, with 121 innings pitched. His ERA stood at 3.89, but he did go 12-5 in his 21 appearances, all of which were starts. His 70.6 winning percentage was the best of his career by far. He fits nicely in the fourth slot in the rotation.
5. Triston McKenzie
McKenzie is entering his third season in the major leagues, but disappointed a bit in his second. He had an ERA of almost 5.00, and posted a win-loss record under .500 (5-9). The young pitcher deserves the benefit of the doubt, but could be supplanted if he does not deliver early in the season.
Featured image courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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