Eli Morgan, SP
Confidence in the starting rotation has eroded, and that’s to be expected. In the last season and a half, the Tribe’s dealt Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer and Carlos Carrasco.
The organization has unearthed gems such as Shane Bieber, but outside of the 2020 Cy Young Award winner, there’s still question marks
There’s plenty of reasons to be optimistic about Zach Plesac. He finished last season 4-2 with a 2.28 ERA. Can he post those numbers over the course of the 162-game season? I believe he can and will be the clear the No. 2 starter by season’s end.
Aaron Civale has re-worked his deliver, but will the changes elevate him from the “meh” season he had in the weird, truncated 2020 campaign.
As for Triston McKenzie, it’s just a fact the Tribe will protect him as much as possible. He’ll start, but look for a strict pitch count for the prospect. It also won’t be a stunner to see him skip a start every now and then to get some rest. He’s battled injuries in the minors. They’ll be cautious.
Logan Allen will get the last crack at the rotation, and he deserves it. He’s clearly been better than other fifth-starter candidates Scott Moss and Cal Quantrill.
Now, like the outfield, go ahead and assume everything won’t go according to plan. Players get hurt. Players underperform. If that’s the case in the rotation, I’d look for Eli Morgan to make his debut.
He doesn’t throw really hard, but he’s effective. In three minor-league season’s, he’s stuck out 360 in 319 innings. Manager Terry Francona raves about his changeup. Additionally, he doesn’t walk a ton of batters, issuing on average 2.34 walks per game throughout the minors.
It’s a recipe for getting to the big leagues quickly, and with the all the starters easing back into a 162 game season, it won’t be surprise when Morgan gets his shot.