The Cleveland Indians are returning home before the weekend following a bizarre road trip.
They did go 2-3, so it wasn’t a total disaster.
However, the trip included blowout losses to the Baltimore Orioles and St. Louis Cardinals, respectively.
Both wins came with the offense putting up 10 runs.
The common theme in the bad losses was not just a lack of offense.
It was young starting pitchers getting roughed up early, leaving the bullpen to handle the remainder of each game.
Cal Quantrill’s Rough Sunday
The ugly pitching started Sunday when Cal Quantrill took the mound.
Tough break for Cal Quantrill on that second inning rally. Gave up minimal hard contact, and only two of his batted balls allowed had a hit probability above 43%. pic.twitter.com/A9qVcCT8rr
— Casey Drottar (@CDrottar19) June 6, 2021
He was already on a pitch limit, but only lasted 1.1 innings and 44 pitches because he allowed five earned runs in that span.
Quantrill was fooling no one and what was already going to be a short start was made worse.
Hentges doing so poorly was another awful sign for his chances of staying up in Cleveland for long.
As for Quantrill, he just needs to be stretched out more if he is going to continue to be a starter.
His season-high is the 60 pitches he threw on Memorial Day against the Chicago White Sox.
However, it is obviously tough to get work in when you can’t stop runs from scoring.
Jean Carlos Mejia’s Short Start
Next up in this trend is Jean Carlos Mejia.
He got the start Wednesday in St. Louis and lasted 0.2 innings.
Mejia threw 38 pitches and allowed four earned runs, while also walking two batters.
Terry Francona had no choice but to pull him before the end of the first inning.
Interestingly enough, Quantrill provided two scoreless innings of relief in the game.
Coming out of the bullpen may be the best role for him, at least right now.
Mejia actually looked solid in his first start, which came last Friday in Baltimore.
He logged three scoreless innings, but was pulled after only 50 pitches.
Like Quantrill, he had a rough start after some nice showing out of the bullpen this year.
Both also have one good start to their name.
Getting Plesac back as soon as possible will also help stop us from seeing so many young pitchers get forced onto the mound before they may be ready.
Quick Indians updates:
*Roberto Pérez had the pin removed from his surgically repaired finger and started throwing today. Zach Plesac will follow suit later this week.
*Terry Francona hinted that Triston McKenzie will be recalled and start on Saturday, in between Civale/Bieber.
— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) June 8, 2021
Quantrill and Mejia are not going anywhere, but may benefit from a start or two in Triple-A just to get in a proper day of work.
The best option for the Indians would be making a trade for a reliable starter while the young guys continue to learn.
Even Triston McKenzie is still up-and-down this year, so getting a fourth starter in the rotation could do wonders for everyone’s confidence.
If that is not in the plans, Indians fans will be hoping one of these young guys finally settles in before it is too late.