Forget a trade, Cleveland Indians need to give Shawn Morimando a chance

CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 5: Edwin Encarnacion
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 5: Edwin Encarnacion /

The Cleveland Indians have obvious had a rough go of things so far up to the All-Star break. Despite having 5 All-Stars the Indians are only 5 games above .500.

Expectations were sky-high coming out of the Arizona desert. This was supposed to be the year. The Cleveland Indians , owners of the longest World Series drought in MLB, were supposed to run through everyone en route to winning the franchise’s first title since 1948.

As the All-Star game approaches, it’s safe to say the Indians are playing sub-par baseball thus far.

The biggest question mark surrounding the team is their starting pitching.

Even though Danny Salazar has been injured, his numbers have been completely opposite of what anyone expected. Corey Kluber is as dominant as ever, just breaking the Indians franchise record for most consecutive 10-strikeout games in a season with four.

Carlos Carrasco is on pace to have the best season of his career.

Then there is Josh Tomlin and Trevor Bauer. Tomlin has a record of 4-9 and an ERA over 6. Tomlin also has a WAR below 0. Trevor Bauer hasn’t been as bad, but he hasn’t been that great, either. Bauer is 7-7 with a 5.24 ERA and a  WAR just over under 1.

To make a deep push into the postseason, the Tribe is going to need an adjustment in the rotation. But what to do?

The Cleveland Indians have put together a farm system that has talent at every level. That means there are players that are ready to be called up. That means there are solutions to problems.

The solution to the Indians pitching problem may be just 140 miles south of Progressive Field. He plays in the best ballparks in AAA.

Shawn Morimando has been one of the best pitchers is AAA as of late and with that a promotion may be on the way. In Morimando’s last 10 starts he has posted a 6-1 record with an ERA of 1.76 an lowered his season ERA to 3.40.

That isn’t even the most impressive thing about Morimando. Three of his last four starts are complete game shutouts. Two of these gems have come in back-to-back outings. His most impressive start of the last four came on June 27, as Morimando struck out 12 Charlotte Knights while only surrendering five hits.

The 24-year-old right-hander may not end up being the answer, but he’s earned the shot. At the very least, the Indians can see if Morimando is good enough to hold down a spot in the back-end of the rotation. If not, it may be time to deal.

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Additionally, the Cleveland Indians are notorious for being a second-half team, especially under Francona. That’s going to have to be the case this season, because the Tigers, Twins and now, the Royals, are breathing down the Indians’ necks.

Marimando may be able to help with a second-half kick.

If Marimando doesn’t get his chance, hopefully Danny Salazar will be bounce back to rotation. It may be wishful thinking at this point, though.

And as important as pitching is to winning games, the Indians will need to score more consistently, especially at home. We’ve seen glimpses of what the Indians can do, but fans have also seen glimpses of what can happen when the Tribe isn’t scoring runs. Cleveland’s turned out in droves in the week leading up to the All-Star break and many have left Progressive Field disappointed.

But we’re only halfway home. Baseball is 162 games long. Anything can happen between now and the end of the season and everyone who is behind the Indians have been just as up and down.

Next: Tribe mid-season report card

So if Indians fans are really that worried about anything, just take a deep breath. There’s a lot more baseball left to play.