Cal Quantrill and Eli Morgan are settling for the Indians.
No one is going to confuse Cal Quantrill or Eli Morgan for a prime Corey Kluber or Shane Bieber but that doesn’t mean they haven’t been putting together some solid outings as Indians‘ starters in the wake of injuries to the starting rotation.
Morgan was just optioned to Triple-A on Thursday, with the Tribe bringing up Sam Hentges to replace him. Before Morgan got sent back down, over his last three starts, he averaged 5.0 innings pitched, five hits given up per game, with three runs given up per game. Those are solid states, what hurts was that gave up five home runs in those three games. That lone issue didn’t stop Indians analysis and former Major Leaguer for the Indians, Jensen Lewis, to praise the youngster, citing the fact he played against the A’s and Astros over those three starts.
For Quantrill, his numbers are a bit better. Over his last four starts, he’s gone 5.1 innings per, game, giving up just under four hits per game, with a 2.00 ERA, and three home runs. Again, no one is saying Quantrill is an AL Cy Young candidate, but considering where the rotation was a few weeks ago, this is a huge step in the right direction.
The Indians should not consider this season lost
It helps that Quantrill is finally looking like a bonafide starter but the Indians are not done by a long shot. The last thing they should do is go into a firesale. Bieber is nearing his return, and that can’t be dismissed. His impact alone will put the Tribe back into the driver seat of their own destiny. So will Jose Ramirez when he’s no longer dealing with that elbow issue that’s been affecting him lately.
The team isn’t bad and is really only a piece or two from being right back in the race. Especially if Quantrill continues to deliver as he has, and if Morgan gets called up again. A major problem comes from the fact that the Indians can’t just trade for a 41-year-old like Nelson Cruz like the Rays did. The Rays gave up two top pitching prospects in Joe Ryan and Drew Strotman for Cruz. That’s at rade that will hurt the Rays down the line, maybe more than the Rays will benefit from Cruz.
The Tribe shouldn’t say no to trades but should look at how long the person they’re trading for is sticking around. The team needs at least an extra year of control no matter how they trade for, if not two or three or even more. Getting guys on expiring deals will just hurt the Indians twice. Once when the guy leaves, and again when those prospects get called up elsewhere.