Having an injury early in the season to a top player is never easy to overcome. However, for the Indians, despite losing Mike Clevinger for the next six to eight weeks, they can rest assured knowing that Shane Bieber is more than capable of filling that role and emerging as one of the more dominant pitchers in baseball.
Bieber came up for the Indians last season in late May after injuries to the starting rotation and never looked back. He had an incredibly solid rookie campaign with an 11-5 record, 4.55 ERA and 118 strikeouts in 114 innings. He showed to be a dominant strikeout pitcher, relying on his powerful fastball and nasty curveball and has taken the next step this year to really jump onto the scene and become another Indians pitcher to tally 200 strikeouts on the season.
Bieber has been absolutely dominant this season in his three starts. He did also come on in relief on March 31 against the Twins giving up one run in two innings pitched. Since the relief appearance, Bieber has been nothing short of fantastic so far posting an undefeated 2-0 record with a 1.71 ERA to go along with 20 strikeouts in 19 innings pitched. It is also important to point out that despite getting a no-decision in his first start, the Indians did still win, making them undefeated in Bieber starts.
One very interesting fact to also remember about Bieber is how good he’s been on the road during his career. His victory last night against the Mariners now makes him 9-0 on the road in his career. Finding a young pitcher this comfortable away from home is a rare thing and really shows how special of a talent the Indians have here in Bieber.
As the 2019 season progresses expect Bieber to continue to improve as we’ve seen him do throughout his career so far. Despite still being only 23, Bieber has made himself known to the baseball world as a vital piece to one of the best rotations in baseball. The Indians’ success this year will rely heavily on their pitching and what we’ve seen already from Bieber should make every Indians fan very excited.
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Image courtesy of USA Today