ESPN’s Buster Olney names Cleveland Indians the no. 2 starting pitching rotation in top 10 list


From top to bottom: Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, Danny Salazar

We know we have a pretty special starting rotation looking forward to the 2016 season, but we’re not the only ones who think so.

ESPN’s Buster Olney named the Tribe’s starting rotation as number two on his MLB’s top 10 rotations column – second only to the New York Mets. From his column:

Rotation candidates: Corey KluberCarlos CarrascoDanny SalazarTrevor BauerCody AndersonJosh Tomlin

One rival evaluator attached the Indians to the Mets in assessing what’s ahead of them in the next few years. “No matter what else happens, that starting pitching gives them a chance to win,” he said. “They might have holes in their lineup, but the pitching is their equalizer.”

Last season, Indians starters led the majors in strikeouts, averaging almost one per inning (969 in 979 1/3), and they held opponents to a .235 batting average, the lowest in the AL. Kluber had a strange, luckless year in 2015 after winning the Cy Young Award in 2014, and the Indians can reasonably expect that the 29-year-old will have a better season in 2016.

The difference between very good and great for the Indians’ rotation might be Bauer, who can drive teammates crazy with his inconsistency; he had 10 starts in which he allowed five or more earned runs, and 12 in which he allowed zero or one earned run. If Bauer takes another step forward — and the rotation stays relatively healthy — the Indians’ rotation could propel Cleveland to a postseason berth.

Click here to read Olney’s whole list (ESPN insider subscribers only).

-TribeVibe contributor Missy Perez

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