By Joe Cooper @joeRantSports on April 28, 2014
The Cleveland Indians’ starting rotation played better than people expected in the first month of the 2014 season. With a combined 4.62 ERA, ranking 26th in MLB, the Tribe’s staff hasn't received much help defensively with 23 errors. Cleveland starters have also accumulated a 3.0 WAR (third) and sit second in K/9 with 9.17.
Carrasco has continued to pitch as he has in years past. To his defense, the 6.95 ERA is likely coming down as the 3.67 FIP posted in four starts is more indicative of his output. Carrasco has drawn a lot of whiffs with 9.41 K/9. If he can lower his 3.68 BB/9 and become more consistent throwing inside on batters, we could see the 27-year-old keep his roster spot.
The recurring trouble Salazar is dealing with has been the lopsided inning. Salazar finally eluded this in Sunday afternoon's loss to the San Francisco Giants. A shadow has been cast over the positives of his first April in the majors, but he does have a 11.01 K/9 and he is slightly improving in each start.
After failing to get a long-term deal signed before the season, the Indians ace has looked rather pedestrian at times, failing to break the 4.00 ERA threshold (4.50 ERA, 4.05 FIP). A few things I find disconcerting about Masty’s April performance has been an elevated .340 OBP against righties, 4.18 BB/9 and 24 hits allowed to lefties.
My breakout player of 2014 has kept himself in contention by doing what he does best: stranding baserunners (68 percent strand rate). Kluber has maintained a 3.90 ERA and 2.59 FIP despite a giving up a .358 BABIP. The best is yet ahead for the 28-year-old, who is already worth 1.0 WAR through his first five starts.
It’s almost implausible to think the Indians traded Austin Kearns for Zach McAllister back in 2010. The 6-foot-6 right-hander has been quietly going about his business, posting a 3.14 ERA, 2.32 FIP, 2.51 BB/9 and 1.0 WAR. McAllister has gone at least six innings in three of five starts against some high-quality opponents in the Giants, Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals and Oakland Athletics.
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