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Cleveland Indians Pitchers and Catchers 2015
It seems that Indians fans and sportswriters are left speculating as to how well the Indians will do each season. 2015 is no different in that regard, but there is a growing belief that the front office is bringing manager Terry Francona players with some real upside.
They are a young team with a youthful pitching staff. Last year Corey Kluber and company surprised a lot of people but one has a tendency to believe President Mark Shapiro and GM Chris Antonetti weren't among them.
Cleveland Indians major league pitchers and catchers are intriguing but what does the team look like two or three years from now? Will the Tribe be able to hold onto young players like Kluber, Yan Gomes and Danny Salazar beyond the next few years as they develop into reliable long-term players?
These are the types of pitchers and catchers Cleveland needs to build around if they are to mirror the success of perennial small market threats like the St. Louis Cardinals and Oakland Athletics.
Cleveland Indians Catchers for 2015
Starting Catcher: Yan Gomes
Big, strong, and the first Brazilian-born player in the major leagues. Gomes is far superior defensively than ithe Indians' former starting catcher, Carlos Santana. In eighty-five games at catcher in 2013, the twenty-six year old committed three errors, allowed four passed balls, and threw out 20 of 49 base stealers.
Final 2014 stats: .278, 21 HR, 74 RBI.
Prediction: Gomes is on his way to becoming one of the top tier catchers in the majors.
Catcher: Roberto Perez
This twenty-six year old backstop has a solid frame and hits right-handed. Perez is a fine defender with a strong arm.
Final 2014 minor league stats: .305, 8 HR, 43 RBI at Triple-A Columbus.
Prediction: Might take a full season seeing major league pitching before Perez develops into a starting catcher option. He won't do that in Cleveland so long as Gomes is there.
Current Cleveland Indians Starting Pitcher Rotation
1. Corey Kluber
2. Carlos Carrasco
3. Trevor Bauer
4. Danny Salazar
5. Shaun Marcum
Cleveland Indians Starting Pitchers for 2015
Corey Kluber, RHP. Reigning ALCy Young Award winner and ace of the Cleveland Indians. Kluber doesn't throw an overpowering fastball but he craftily mixes up pitches, moves the ball in and out on hitters, and produced more than five times as many strikeouts (269) as walks (51) in 2014.
Final 2014 stats: 18-9, 2.44 ERA, 269 strikeouts.
§ Through 12 starts in 2015: 3-6, 3.61 ERA, 105 strikeouts. Opposing batters are hitting at a .256 clip against the 29-year old veteran. §
Carlos Carrasco, RHP. After missing the 2012 season recovering from Tommy John surgery, Carrasco is competing for a rotation spot with the Indians in 2013. The26-year old former hot prospect could develop into a reliable fifth starter.
Carrasco was sent out to Triple-A from Spring Training, but he'll be back to start in place of Scott Kazmir (abdominal strain). It will be an important audition for Carrasco if he wants to be manager Francona's first choice when spot starting duties are required.
Final 2014 stats: 8-7, 2.55 ERA, 140 strikeouts in 134 innings pitched.
Trevor Bauer, RHP. Twenty-four year old right-hander is improving every year and it will be interesting to see where he's at this time next year.
Final 2014 stats: 5-8, 4.18 ERA, 143 strikeouts in 153 innings pitched.
§Update: Through ten starts, opposing batters are hitting just .215 against Bauer.§
Danny Salazar, RHP. Power pitcher who has at times found himself unable to maintain composure after giving up a big inning. He's all of twenty-five and now is in his third season as a major league starter.
Final 2014 stats: 6-8, 4.25 ERA, 120 strikeouts in 20 starts.
Synopsis: Salazar's fastball comes in hard on right-handers and he complements the heat with a nice splitter. It's likely that with a little more experience he'll be more than effective against major league hitters for many years.
Shaun Marcum, RHP Age (33) and right shoulder surgery in 2013 have slowed down the veteran starter but he's still good for a spot start here and there and lends an experienced presence to the Tribe's locker room.
Final 2014 stats: Injured.
Cleveland Indians Relief Pitchers for 2015
Closer: Cody Allen, RHP. 25-year who was drafted by the Indians in 2011. Allen has developed into an effective pressure situation reliever. He was part of the closer by closer by committee in 2014 and by the end of that season there was little doubt in anyone's mind that Allen was capable of shutting down AL lineups at the end of close games.
Final 2014 stats: 6-4, 2.07 ERA, 24 saves in 28 chances, 91 strikeouts in 69 2/3 innings pitched.
Synopsis: Allen limited hitters to a .194 batting average last season. Allen throws hard and sometimes wildly. If he continues to pitch like he did in 2014 he'll be fine. With his history and his hard fastball, he probably will maintain his role.
Bryan Shaw, RHP. 27-year old came to Cleveland from Arizona for the 2013 season and dominated major league hitters. He allowed just 60 hits in 75 innings pitched and held opposing batters to .216. It was more of the same for AL hitters in 2014 (.216 opposing batter's average and 1.09 WHIP).
Final 2014 stats: 5-5, 2.59 ERA, 80 games pitched.
Zach McAllister, RHP. The 27-year old McAllister is a former 2006 third round pick of the New York Yankees. He's 6'6", throws an above average fastball and he's versatile. He can step into any role in the bullpen and he has considerable starter experience.
Final 2014 stats: 4-7, 5.23 ERA, 74 strikeouts in 86 innings pitched.
Nick Hagadone, LHP. Now in his fourth full season with the Indians, this southpaw specializes at coming in with men on base and getting out of innings with limited or no damage. So far in 2015, he's induced 17 grounders that resulted in double plays in only 19 1/3 innings pitched (as of June 5, 2015).
Marc Rzepczynski, LHP. 29-year old has pitched well in high pressure situations with Toronto, St. Louis, and now Cleveland.
Final 2014 stats: 0-3, 2.74 ERA, 73 games, .246 opposing batters average against.
Austin Adams, RHP. The Indians' fifth round pick in 2009 has had a challenging pro career thus far. A former starter who underwent shoulder surgery in 2011, Adams is now a full-time reliever and, at least for now, splits time between Triple-A Columbus and the big league club.
Ryan Webb, RHP. The word 'nasty' comes to mind when describing this twenty-nine year old's pitches. A mid-90s sinker complemented by a low-90s slider makes for an interesting time whenever Webb is on the mound for the Indians.
Anthony Swarzak, RHP. Twenty-nine year old journeyman pitched very well with the Minnesota Twins in 2013 but has struggled since. He's likely to bounce between Columbus and Cleveland in 2015 unless he cuts down on his hits allowed (100 in 86 innings last year for the Twins).