Cal Quantrill is another potential starter, but he will open the year in the bullpen.
One quirk about the Indians’ schedule early in the year is that the team has three days off from April 2-19.
That means a fifth starter won’t be needed right at the outset.
Thus, the Indians made a new plan.
Allen will be going in game four and McKenzie’s role may be in the bullpen for now.
Triston McKenzie, Cal Quantrill and Logan Allen all made the Indians' Opening Day roster.
Quantrill will be in the bullpen
The Indians told Logan Allen will pitch in the fourth game of the season. Either as a starter or following the opener.
— Mandy Bell (@MandyBell02) March 28, 2021
The Plan in Place
Letting Allen know he will pitch in the fourth game adds some more clarity to the staff.
McKenzie can now focus on staying with his normal routine as he will start soon enough.
We still don’t know who will exactly start that fourth game of the year.
Allen could follow an opener from the bullpen, as MLB.com writer Mandy Bell tweeted.
He could also do that and then be relieved by McKenzie.
#Indians pitchers Logan Allen, Triston McKenzie & Cal Quantrill have all made the Opening Day roster. Logan Allen will pitch the 4th game of the season & McKenzie may piggyback w/ him until 5th starter needed. Quantrill will pitch out of the bullpen.
— Indians Prospective (@indiansPro) March 28, 2021
The thing to remember is that both starters will get plenty of work in April.
They will just have to adapt to potentially coming out of the bullpen at times.
This is a smart approach for a group of young pitchers rounding out the rotation.
Allen is still only 23 years old and made three appearances during the 2020 season.
He needs time to adjust to a starter’s workload at the MLB level and easing him in is not a bad strategy.
McKenzie is also 23 years old and has six starts under his belt.
The top prospect looked sharp last year, but still needs time to get used to the MLB game.
A Complete 2021 Starting Rotation
There were questions about the final two spots in the rotation right up until the moment Adam Plutko was traded.
That opened up spots for all three of McKenzie, Allen, and Quantrill.
The several off-days on the schedule as well helped create a plan where the young arms aren’t thrown into the fire too soon.
Optimism is usually high surrounding an Indians pitching staff and MLB.com ranked the group as the No. 8 rotation in all of baseball.
This slower start for Allen and McKenzie should turn into a normal five-man rotation by the end of April, so fans should not worry too much.
In fact, it is possible the team could even try to give the young trio somewhat equal playing time at the start of the year.
The goal is to figure out the best possible rotation and all three will factor into that conversation throughout the year.