The Cleveland Guardians have an elite pitching staff but does Shane Bieber have an equal?
Shane Bieber may very well be the best pitcher in the American League this year. The Ace of the AL and top guy for the Cleveland Guardians has had a great career so far and has made the team a tough out every time he takes the mound. There’s no denying that Bieber is not only a franchise legend but a future Cy Young candidate again. That said, is there a guy on his level in this rotation?
Cal Quantrill and Triston McKenzie are among the two more promising guys on the squad beyond Bieber, at least as far as Cy Young candidates are concerned. The team has a load of pitching talent behind them, but they’re not truly ready to take their spots in the rotation yet, so Quantrill and McKenzie are really it when we talk about true Ace-level talents.
Both guys rarely walk hitters, neither gives up too many home runs and they both have the ability to keep their ERAs under three. But, are they on par with Bieber? MLB.com doesn’t think so, at least they don’t consider Bieber and McKenzie/Quantrill to be a top-10 duo in the league.
Triston McKenzie and Cal Quantrill have a bit more to prove before being considered a top duo alongside Shane Bieber
The Cleveland Guardians have three guys at the top of their rotation who could realistically be the ace of a club in the league. Yet, McKenzie and Quantrill are two guys who have to prove a bit more to be considered Cy Young contenders.
McKenzie is the more electric of the two, with the ability to strike out guys but because of that, he can be beaten more often than Quantrill. Quantrill doesn’t have the same strikeout rate as McKenzie, so he’s more likely to have a long inning that tacks on a lot of pitches.
Neither guy is perfect but both are very good. If they can drop their ERA to a sub-2.50 in 2023, then maybe the folks at MLB.com will see them as Bieber’s equal. But outside of being, somehow, even better, there’s really nothing either man can do to get the attention of such outlets.