Indians starter Cal Quantrill has proven he’s a top starter.
Fans were skeptical after Cal Quantrill was moved from the bullpen to the rotation but after a rocky start, it appears to have been the right call. When he made his first start against the Tigers on May 26, Quantrill had a 1.90 ERA while coming out of the pen. He was seen as a long-reliever if needed but was most effective as a middle reliever, getting the team through the sixth and seventh innings. Yet, issues to the rotation forced Quantrill into the starting rotation.
This wasn’t a huge shift in expectations for Quantrill, who was a starter in the minors and with the Padres, but the Indians had a bigger need to fill with the bullpen, so that’s where Quantrill was assigned. He was capable of starting, but after a year of exclusive bullpen work, it was clear that Quantrill needed time to regain his arm’s stamina.
This caused some early-season struggles, rarely getting to the 5th inning and seeing his ERA blow up to 4.20.
Since July 17, he’s only given up 17 runs across 68.2 innings. He did have a rough night against the Red Sox on Sep. 3 but that’s been his only bad game across 13 starts, a stretch that has seen Quantrill take on Houston, Tampa Bay, St. Louis, Oakland, and other top teams in the league. One of which was in fact Boston. So his second outing against the Red Sox didn’t go the way people wanted but it’s far more likely a fluke than anything to worry about.
Quantrill has earned his spot at the top of the rotation.
Cal Quantrill may be the third-best starter on the Indians roster
Assuming Shane Bieber returns to form, which fans should expect, Cal Quantrill has easily become the team’s third-best starter behind Bieber and Aaron Civale. This isn’t meant as a demeaning shot against Triston McKenzie or Zach Plesac, as they’ve both had much better second half’s. It’s merely acknowledging just how good Quantrill has been.
Considering Quantrill came over in the Mike Clevinger trade, and wasn’t considered the big piece of the deal, his improvement has made that deal all the much better in hindsight.
Quantrill should be a key piece in the revamped Indians rotation for next season and could be a big reason why the Tribe returns to the playoffs in 2022.