The Cleveland Indians signed Bryan Shaw to a minor league deal earlier this offseason.
Plenty of fans assumed that would result in a job in the Opening Day bullpen.
Terry Francona relied on Shaw for years and the early results from spring training were great.
Wednesday night brought the news that Shaw had officially landed a job on the team.
Bryan Shaw has made Cleveland’s Opening Day roster.
— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) March 24, 2021
Is this a surprise to anyone?
Bryan Shaw Back in the Bullpen
Shaw is the latest name to get an assured spot in the bullpen this week.
Rule 5 draft pick Trevor Stephan recently got word that he made the group as well.
Shaw seemed like he was a lock given he could find his velocity and just look remotely better than he did since leaving Cleveland.
The reliever was with the Indians from 2013-2017 and was on the mound seemingly every night.
He made 378 appearances in five seasons and was always a reliable option, even if fans only remember the bad.
Shaw then signed with the Colorado Rockies and had a rough two seasons in the thin Denver air.
He posted a combined 5.61 ERA in his two seasons with the Rockies and tried to get his career back on track with the Seattle Mariners in 2020.
The season was shortened to 60 games and Shaw only made six appearances, allowing 12 runs in six innings of work.
So to say he is ready to return to Cleveland is an understatement.
It is the city where he made a name for himself and also where he did well enough to convince the Rockies to sign him to a $27 million deal.
The good news so far this spring is that Shaw had indeed found his velocity that makes him such a tough matchup.
#Indians RHP Bryan Shaw has made the opening day roster. Shaw has pitched well this spring & his velocity is topping out 96-97 mph. He was a non-roster invitee so a 40-man roster spot needs to be opened for him.
— Indians Prospective (@indiansPro) March 24, 2021
Shaw hitting 96 or 97 on the gun proves why he was given a job over a younger pitcher in the organization.
2021 Bullpen Coming Together
Right now Indians fans know Shaw, Stephan, Nick Wittgren, James Karinchak, and Emmanuel Clase are set to be in the bullpen on Opening Day.
Oliver Perez is another veteran who could join Shaw by going from a non-roster spot to a familiar role.
Then there is Adam Plutko, who either needs to make the roster or be sent to waivers.
Phil Maton is another name to keep an eye on, while Kyle Nelson and Anthony Gose are hoping to prove they belong as well.
The list goes on further as the spots begin to fill up with Opening Day approaching.
Shaw being back is going to be a top storyline when the season gets underway and it would not be a shock to see Francona use him in high-leverage situations.
Hopefully, the manager realizes Shaw may not be able to go at his usual pace of pitching every other game.
A more normal workload could be the necessary change after a few rough seasons out west.
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