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MLB Cleveland Indians

Early Grades for Cleveland Indians’ Starting Rotation and Bullpen

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Early Grades for Cleveland Indians' Starting Rotation and Bullpen

John Axford and Carlos Santana, Cleveland Indians
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After losing a couple key pitchers from last year's wild card squad, the Cleveland Indians are hoping to build off last year's momentum with some young gunslingers. After adding a few new faces and a new arm anchoring the "Bullpen Mafia", does the Tribe have what it takes to make another push for October? Here are some early grades for the Indians' starting rotation and bullpen.

Justin Masterson: C

Justin Masterson, Cleveland Indians
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Justin Masterson: C

Justin Masterson,  Cleveland Indians
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Masterson came out of the gates hot for the Indians, pitching seven strong innings allowing only three hits in the season opener. In his next two appearances, the club's ace struggled, giving up five runs in each game and not making it past the fourth inning in either outing. Against Toronto on Friday, Masterson looked more like himself allowing two runs over six innings. The hard throwing righty is still looking for his first win this season.

Corey Kluber: D

Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians
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Corey Kluber: D

Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians
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Kluber was unable to keep his momentum from the previous two starts going and gave up five runs in 6.2 innings on Saturday, two of which came in the first inning. The pitcher is now 1-2 on the season and has allowed 34 hits in four starts. His position in the starting rotation may be safe, but if the Indians want to be in a playoff hunt come September, he's going to have to turn his season around.

Zach McAllister: B+

Zach McAllister, Cleveland Indians
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Zach McAllister: B+

Zach McAllister, Cleveland Indians
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After having a shaky start, McAllister is coming off two consecutive good outings and headed into Monday night's game against Kansas City with a record of 2-0 and an ERA of 2.04. He's been exactly what Cleveland needs out of their starting pitching.

Danny Salazar: F

Danny Salazar, Cleveland Indians
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Danny Salazar: F

Danny Salazar, Cleveland Indians
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The young flame thrower has struggled in his three starts this season. He's currently 0-2 with an ERA over 7.00 and hasn't made it past the sixth inning in any start. He did fan 10 White Sox hitters in 3.2 innings, but he also gave up five runs in the loss. The Tribe are hoping Salazar will snap out of it in time.

Carlos Carrasco: D-

Carlos Carrasco, Cleveland Indians
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Carlos Carrasco: D-

Carlos Carrasco, Cleveland Indians
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Carrasco has struggled early on, and if things don't change soon, he could see himself being replaced. Trevor Bauer, who was impressive in his one start against the Padres, is eagerly awaiting his opportunity. If Carrasco wants to help the Indians keep pace with the rest of the AL Central, he's going to have to change his game now. Though the team managed a win in his last start, Carrasco did not figure into the decision.

Indians' Bullpen: B

Terry Francona, Cleveland Indians
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Indians' Bullpen: B

Terry Francona, Cleveland Indians
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Aside from Vinny Pestano, the Indians' bullpen has looked pretty solid. Setup man Cody Allen has been tough in his 10 appearances, and aside from one bad outing, new closer John Axford has saved six games. Cleveland's biggest problem has been with their starters struggling to pitch deep into games. If the Tribe wants to keep the bullpen fresh, it's key to get better outings from their workhorses.

Bonder Carthen is a Cleveland Browns writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @BonderIII, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.