By Joe Cooper @joeRantSports on April 26, 2014
With a slew of young right-handed arms in the farm system, the Cleveland Indians have solid depth in the minors to fill in the gaps for the current righty-dominant rotation in the future. If the Tribe staff gets plagued by injuries or continues to see poor play by Carlos Carrasco, Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin wait as the only viable candidates prepared for the required services.
Lee Chen-Chang, more commonly referred to as C.C., had a major setback in 2012 in need of Tommy John surgery. Featuring a low arm slot delivery, the Taiwanese pitcher has the tools to become a formidable setup man with a dying slider and a varying pace on his change-up. With only 10.2 innings of work with the major-league club, the clock is ticking on Lee to become a permanent entity of the Wahoo bullpen, turning 28 years old this fall.
The 22-year-old right-hander earns a living off of his mid-90s fastball, with a progressing slider and change-up. The Alaskan native came at a bargain in the fifth round, projected to be taken in the late-first to third round in 2012’s MLB Amateur Draft. A late bloomer at Western Nevada College makes for a hit-or-miss-type situation, but at a glance, Baker has the makeup of a big-league hurler.
Still in transition toward a role as a starter, Dace Kime’s lack of experience in a rotation comes as a surprise based on the amount of pitches he utilizes. Accompanied by his headlining curveball, the 22-year-old also tosses a cutter to piece with his fastball and change-up. At 6-foot-4, Kime plays even bigger than his on-paper dimensions displaying a downward throwing motion which makes it easier for him to direct his pitches.
The pitcher of the year in Double-A Akron boosted his stock with surprising growth totaling a 2.34 ERA with the Carolina Mudcats in 123.1 innings to earn a spot with the formerly named Aeros. Anderson has folks within the organization taking notice with the build and secondary pitches to play the part in the majors. As a reliever for Feather River Junior College, you wouldn’t think of the right-handed starter as a newcomer to a role in the rotation with such a fluid and consistent approach.
Arizona’s intolerance for the eccentric Trevor Bauer has played out well for Cleveland as each game Carlos Carrasco enters, fans get another day closer to seeing the righty begin his career officially with the Tribe. His spot start against the San Diego Padres showed how well Bauer’s curveball and fastball have come along in regards to his enhanced command. The 23-year-old’s ability to squeeze hitters with his fastball, throwing to them inside and locking them up over the plate with his breaking pitches screams top-of-the-rotation-type talent.
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