Cleveland Indians: A Left-Handed Pitcher Should Be Added

Jun 13, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Baseball sits on pitchers mound at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 13, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Baseball sits on pitchers mound at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

The starting rotation of the Cleveland Indians is very good, but adding a left-handed starting pitcher would not hurt.

No one can question the success the Cleveland Indians starting rotation has had over the last few seasons. Collectively as a whole very few teams are in the running to have a better rotation.

Heading into the 2016 season, the Cleveland Indians rotation will once again be the organization’s key to success. However, there is no balance. Every projected starting pitcher is right-handed. Those pitchers are Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, Trevor Bauer, Danny Salazar, with Josh Tomlin as the favorite to be the fifth starter.

There are two options that are left-handed in T.J. House and Tom Gorzelanny, but neither can be considered as a player the team can rely on. House lost each of his four starts in 2015 and then he got injured, while also spending plenty of time in the minor leagues.

Gorzelanny is a journeyman. Earlier in his career, the thought was that he has yet to reach his potential. That ship has since been sailed for some time and the Tribe should just hope they can just get a decent season in spot-duty out of him.

The Indians do not necessarily need to go out and sign and/or trade for a lefty at this moment. Spring training will be starting soon, so maybe there will be a pitcher that pitches lights-out and earns a major league spot. As the Indians evaluate their pitchers, teams will be making multiple moves throughout spring training, so their solution could also be solved via the waiver wire.

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Just look at the lineups Cleveland will be facing often this season. Most of them are right-handed heavy, with limited options to replace those players. Yes, a right-handed batter versus a right-handed pitcher may be the matchup a team would favor. However, that mindset is a bit overrated to me. I do not care if the batter is left-handed, right-handed, or switch-hitting, it comes back to who is pitching. Also, whoever is at bat, just get that player out.

I am not a fan of knowing that Cleveland will only be starting right-handers every single game. When a team throws out a left-handed or a switch hitting heavy lineup, it would be great to see the Tribe being ready with a lefty in the rotation. Just one left-hander would pay dividends for a rotation since the rest are right-handers.

Speaking of lineups, Cleveland still does not have enough answers in theirs, specifically with who is playing in the outfield.

Unfortunately, Cleveland cannot just sign anyone due to their lack of money that is available. Just think about outfielder Dexter Fowler playing center field (the first round pick would have to be given up, but he is worth it) for the Cleveland Indians. That is still a possibility, but it is unknown how realistic that will be even if he remains on the free agent market heading into spring training.

However the Cleveland Indians improves the team this upcoming season, one thing they cannot do is just sit around, wait, and see what happens. There are outfielders coming up from the minor leagues who will be in Cleveland soon, but how much can you depend on rookie players?

By the trade deadline, a left-handed pitcher needs to be acquired in some way. How about taking care of two birds with one stone? Cleveland would benefit trading one of their current starting pitchers for another outfielder and a left-handed pitcher.

The Cleveland Indians are not the only team with only right-handed pitchers in their rotation.

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However, that is not guaranteed to lead to success. At the end of the day, the opportunity to change-up their rotation with a lefty is too great to pass up.