The Cleveland Indians are in a bit of a rut right now, but still have two players heading to the 2021 MLB All-Star Game in Jose Ramirez and Shane Bieber.
Terry Francona is also going to assist Kevin Cash‘s American League side.
You know, bro.
José is an All-Star for the 3rd time in his career. ⭐️#OurCLE pic.twitter.com/rFQogbpEW7
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) July 4, 2021
But having Bieber as the only pitcher is a bit of a surprise, and he won’t even be able to pitch due to injury.
Who are some other Indians pitchers who look like snubs right now?
Three come to mind in particular.
3. Aaron Civale
The fact Aaron Civale is currently injured likely hurt his case.
Yet even with the injury he is still tied for the MLB-lead in wins with 10.
Yes, pitcher wins are not exactly the best statistic to use.
However, Civale nearly has an identical ERA to Bieber, with the only difference for the ace being the strikeout total.
Civale has also walked fewer batters than Bieber.
But the fact Bieber is the reigning Cy Young Award winner, coupled with his mind-blowing strikeout total to begin the year, made him the obvious choice from this rotation if there was only room for one.
Civale also not being able to pitch in the game is a major factor as well.
2. Emmanuel Clase
Emmanuel Clase has taken home the loss in back-to-back games for the Indians.
Emmanuel Clase, Unhittable 99mph Cutters. ✂️ pic.twitter.com/9tWKNJyvLQ
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 4, 2021
Yet that does not define his entire season.
The flamethrower still only has a 1.51 ERA after a few rough outings and is rocking a 10.1 K/9 on the year.
Few relievers can throw a slider like Clase can and if the All-Star Game still counted for something, leaving him off the roster would be foolish.
It may take one more year of proven success for Clase to become a big name outside of Cleveland.
The Indians sneaking into the playoffs would help his case as well.
1. James Karinchak
James Karinchak is like the Bieber of the bullpen when it comes to strikeouts.
He has 64 strikeouts in 37.1 innings of work for a 15.4 K/9.
That is an absurd mark and he also has nine saves on the season.
And while Karinchak’s ERA is a bit higher than Clase’s, he has only allowed 10 earned runs on the year.
It is easy to solely focus on Clase’s hard-throwing abilities.
Karinchak is still right there with him and that is why both seem to be obvious choices for the All-Star Game, Cleveland-centric biases aside.
They are also called upon far too often by Francona, but still manage to do their job and do it well.
If the Indians are a legitimate playoff contender in the coming years, both Karinchak and Clase should be easy choices for the All-Star Game on an annual basis.
For now, they are some well kept secrets in Cleveland.
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