The Cleveland Indians are a team of opportunity in 2021.
Logan Allen was the first left-handed pitcher to get a shot in the starting rotation.
He started well, only to seemingly be unable to prevent opposing hitters from blasting home runs.
Thus, he was demoted and Sam Hentges is now filling his spot.
The 6-foot-6 lefty has three relief appearances on the year, but has always been a starter during his rise up through the organization.
Now he gets a shot to keep the hot streak going after the offense showed up in a big way Monday night.
#Indians pitcher @SamHentges on @BullandFox on making his major league debut as a starter tonight: "I think it's just an opportunity for now. I'm just excited to have this opportunity, and to be in this position."
— Keith Britton (@KeithBritton86) May 4, 2021
Background on Sam Hentges
The rookie pitcher was drafted out of high school by the Indians back in 2014.
Since then he has had a slow and steady rise that saw him spend 2019 in Double-A Akron.
To the eye, his 2-13 record and 5.11 ERA weren’t exactly great numbers.
However, development is all anyone cares about when it comes to the minors and Hentges did post a respectable 8.8 K/9 in Double-A.
He has only been with the club for a few weeks and now has an opportunity to stick in the starting rotation.
The Indians have rarely carried left-handed starters in recent history and Hentges could change that.
Fans just have to remember he may be pulled after four or five innings because of pitch count.
But if he does well, he can go longer in his next start and so on from there.
Hoping For Monday’s Support
Indians fans who stayed up late Monday were treated to an exciting victory.
All eight runs in the 8-6 win were scored with two outs and the bullpen trio of Bryan Shaw, James Karinchak, and Emmanuel Clase closed out the game for Aaron Civale.
Book it! @Indians take the series opener!
All eight runs scored were with 2 outs 🤯 pic.twitter.com/qcNBdfHcOx
— Bally Sports Cleveland (@BallySportsCLE) May 4, 2021
Hentges just getting through five innings of good work sets up his team well because of the bullpen.
Clase only threw 13 pitches Monday night and players like Phil Maton and Cal Quantrill are fresh and ready to go.
Quantrill relieving Hentges early could be the plan of attack regardless of how the southpaw performs.
The Indians are using merit to determine the backend of the starting rotation this year.
Hentges, Allen, Quantrill, and even Triston McKenzie may all go in and out at some point.
A bullpen game may even be opted for at some point given how much Monday’s bullpen trio is pitching so far.
The other guys need some game action as well.
All fans care about is winning and Hentges can prove he belongs by limiting a talented Kansas City Royals lineup Tuesday night.
Another solid night from the offense would help too.
Expecting eight runs again may be too much to ask, but there is nothing wrong in hoping for a similar result.
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