The Cleveland Indians have a nice mix of young and veteran talent on the roster to start the 2021 season.
The pitching staff alone has several rookies getting a shot to succeed early.
Logan Allen and Triston McKenzie are in the starting rotation, while Emmanuel Clase is getting plenty of work as the closer.
McKenzie and Clase recently showed up on MLB Pipeline’s latest list of rookie power rankings.
The former showed up at No. 9 and the latter at No. 10 after being unranked to start the season.
Six new names in our Rookie Power Rankings: https://t.co/dVK4DacAp4 pic.twitter.com/ZgzcThZheg
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) April 21, 2021
Early Love for Triston McKenzie
McKenzie has had a unique start to the 2021 season.
The Indians had enough off-days to where he was not needed for an actual start right away.
So far he has three total appearances and two starts.
The lanky right-hander has 18 strikeouts in 12.2 innings.
That is the good.
The bad is him walking 10 batters in that limited action and the Indians losing all three games in which he has pitched.
But it is still early and McKenzie remains on a short leash.
His longest outing so far was only five innings.
Fans must remember this is a player who made his MLB debut in 2020 and only logged 33.1 innings.
Terry Francona is going to ease him into action and McKenzie should settle in as the year goes on.
Emmanuel Clase is as Advertised
Fans heard about Clase’s impressive arm once he was acquired in the Corey Kluber trade.
Now we are actually seeing his ability to routinely throw over 100 miles per hour.
Clase is getting a lot of action early and already has four saves.
The plan heading into the season seemed to be giving Clase, James Karinchak, and Nick Wittgren equal time late in games.
But there is no need to move away from a good thing and Clase is just that
He has 10 strikeouts in 7.1 innings and looks unfair against opposing hitters most of the time.
Emmanuel Clase, Stupid 100mph Cutter. 🥴 pic.twitter.com/8W347qXQjq
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 15, 2021
Trying to hit a cutter that is moving at 100 mph is going to be a near-impossible task for hitters all season.
Clase just has to work on his control and he could be one of the best closers in baseball.
It is already apparent that Francona loves to go to Clase late in games.
The Indians are also 6-2 in which Clase makes an appearance.
So if he is on the mound, the team has a great shot to win the game.
Having any rookies contribute to the team is great news.
Getting instant success out of two in April is just a bonus as the Indians look to keep costs low and ride with young talent.
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