The Cleveland Indians want so badly not to see Carlos Carrasco start against the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday that they have decided to start Zach McAllister instead on only three days rest. It’s looking bleak for Carrasco’s future as a starter in Cleveland, as this will already be the second time he’ll be skipped in the rotation this season. Carrasco will be made available in the bullpen for the rest of the series with the Angels, but this leaves an obvious hole in the Tribe rotation, so what will the Indians do with the open spot?
Two names in Triple-A Columbus are the clear favorites to get the call-up if Carrasco’s move out of the rotation is permanent: Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin. Tomlin, 29, has been in the Indians’ organization since 2006 and has had multiple stints in the majors. He is considered to have overachieved to come this far with only middling stuff, but he has great command on the mound. On the other hand, the 23-year-old Bauer was touted as a can’t-miss prospect who has dynamite stuff but is known to have a difficult attitude toward coaching and doesn’t throw strikes consistently. Both pitchers are performing well in the minors but are doing it with completely different pitching styles.
Bauer has the advantage since he has a much higher ceiling than Tomlin and has already made a spot start this year in the second game of a doubleheader against the San Diego Padres. Bauer pitched very well, giving up only one earned run in six innings of work but still taking the loss with the Tribe being shutout. The young right-hander would also provide a much-needed infusion of energy to an Indians team that has lacked the spark that it had last season.
Bauer is an exciting pitcher to watch when he’s got it going, and the way the Indians are hitting right now they will need all the pitching help possible. The Indians need to make a move sooner than later to spell Carrasco of his starting duties, and Bauer should be the one to get the first opportunity.