In Cleveland Indians trade talk, writer Eric Pitcher argues Bryan Shaw can’t be counted on, and that is why the Tribe must get a deal done for Yankees reliever Andrew Miller.
With the Indians holding the best record in the AL, it is perfect time to make a trade to solidify the bullpen. After going into the eighth inning with a 2-0 lead, a team and their fans should be confident enough to trust in the bullpen to get a win.
When Terry Francona calls for a new pitcher it is always a wonder what kind of pitcher is going to come out and throw. One night you can get the Bryan Shaw that threw 13 consecutive scoreless innings, or you can get the Bryan Shaw who is going to blow a 2-0 lead.
The inconsistency is real for the Indians bullpen. The Indians do have hitters who are having career years, and a lot of those bats are unproven. But it’s hard to argue. The offense has been showing up every night and scoring runs. So why ruin something that is clicking? No need to trade for a big bat, when trading for a strong-arm is more suitable for the Indians.
Yes, Shaw has been pitching well of late, but he’s no longer a sure thing when he enters a game. The question must be asked: How much can Francona continue to trust him?
Shaw has appeared in 44 games this season, in those 44 games Shaw has racked up 39 1/3 innings. Shaw is mainly used as a set up man to Cody Allen, so Shaw usually appears in two.
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In 2016, Shaw has given up 20 runs, all of which are earned. That’s helped to a big 4.58 ERA.
With the Aug. 1 trade deadline approaching it’s time for the Indians to make a big move. In order for the Indians to make a deep playoff push they are going to need help in the bullpen.
After Joe Girardi called the Yankees game a “must win” just before the All-Star break, New York did in fact come away with a win, that organization has no starting pitching. They must come to the conclusion that they aren’t going to make the playoffs, so why not become sellers?
Giving up prospects may not be the most popular move but it will be what is best for the Indians and their chances of winning it all.
Miller has a record of 5-1, with a 1.31 ERa. In his 41 1/3 innings of work, Miller has only given up seven runs, six of which are earned. Along with all those impressive stats, Miller also has 70 strikeouts, and opposing batters are just hitting .160 against him.
Even with all of those impressive stats, the best part is how cheap he is. In 2015 Miller signed a four-year, $36 million contract. So that means the Indians would only be paying him $9 million dollars for one of the best relief pitchers in the game. Sign me up.
If you were to look through the bullpen for the Indians you wouldn’t see a left handed relief pitcher, besides young Kyle Crockett, who has only thrown 3 2/3 innings this season and has an and ERA over 10.
When teams play the Indians, opponents are well aware that they have a chance if they can get past the starter.
Adding Miller would not only be a left hander, he would be a very, very good left hander.
Giving up prospects for someone who is going to make an immediate impact is something the Indians need to think long and hard about because 2016 is not a year we want to mess around with.