The Cleveland Indians are miraculously still in the American League Central hunt after a list of injuries and demotions hit the starting rotation.
Here is how it looks when the second half of the season begins later this week.
Cleveland's rotation out of the All-Star break…
Friday at OAK: Eli Morgan
Saturday at OAK: Cal Quantrill
Sunday at OAK: Zach Plesac
Monday at HOU: J.C. Mejía
Tuesday at HOU: Triston McKenzie
— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) July 11, 2021
Only Plesac and McKenzie are still standing, and both only recently returned to the rotation on a full-time basis.
The former was out with an injury, while the latter had to prove he deserved another shot.
The New, Temporary, Starting Five
Right now it is just nice to see Plesac’s name among the starters.
The same goes for McKenzie, especially after his amazing performance Friday in which he posted nine strikeouts in seven innings of work.
Triston McKenzie, Filthy Curveball ⚔️& Slider. 😷 pic.twitter.com/uAPKsMdQBq
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 9, 2021
The best part of all was him only allowing one walk after dealing with the issue of free passes all year.
So far this year he has made five total starts.
The total is four, if you take away his ridiculous debut that came in an actual hurricane.
So while his ERA is currently at 8.44, it has steadily gone down from the 20.25 total he had after one start.
Morgan last pitched July 3 against the Houston Astros and only allowed three earned runs in five innings of work.
He deserves a longer look and is continuing to get one, but will likely be the first one pushed out of the rotation once Bieber or Civale can return.
What Should Fans Think?
Should fans be concerned about this situation?
Well, it is tough to truly be concerned because this situation is happening out of necessity.
And every passing day brings us closer to returns by both Bieber and Civale.
Both veterans have signed minor-league deals with the Indians and should end up getting shots if any of the young guys falter.
Any doubleheaders or makeup games that arise would give both pitchers a shot too, with the only caveat being they would need to land a 40-man roster spot.
So the front office would have to commit to giving one or both a real look, especially if the team remains in the playoff hunt.
Morgan, Mejia, and Quantrill still have the upper-hand over any veteran pitchers until proven otherwise.
While Indians fans could be concerned, more returns are on the horizon and that is great news.
Just like with Opening Day, this new-look rotation is subject to change almost immediately.