It is the same old story, same old song and dance in the world of Cleveland sports. Everyone is so excited for the season, something will be different about this year. Then it is always just the same. Until last season, when the Indians made a run to the playoffs and brought back the light onto the world of Cleveland sports. We had a playoff team!!! The Indians, who many believe are poised to make a big run again this season, find themselves at 6-7 in a very young season. The one thing that concerns not only me, but many around the league is the starting pitching. Starting pitching would be the woe of this team and I think that many would agree with that. Gone from last years staff are Scott Kazmir and Ubaldo Jimenez. Kazmir last season posted a 10-9 record with a 4.04 ERA and finished third in the AL comeback player of the year voting. Jimenez posted a 13-9 ledger with a 3.30 ERA. Granted Ubaldo could only ever put together half a season for the Tribe, it was huge for the playoff push. Now we look at our starting pitching and Yikes…

Justin Masterson: Masterson who was in a contract dispute all offseason was the opening day started and is the “ace” of the Indians pitching staff. In 3 starts, he has 3 No Decisions and an ERA of 5.87. Not exactly stuff you want to see out of your ace pitcher. Masterson however, is pitching to get paid. It also doesn’t look attractive that opposing hitters are hitting .279 off of him. Masterson also has walked 9 in 15 innings, he just doesn’t look comfortable on the mound at times. After the Indians refused to extend Masterson at the discounted price he was asking to stay in Cleveland, we have to ask ourselves, is it worth it?, pub-2319592412860037, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0

Corey Kluber: If Corey Kluber reads this review of him, it probably won’t make him smile anyways. Kluber is 1-1 this season with a 5.40 ERA in 3 starts. Not exactly the type of stuff you like to see out of your number two guy either. Hitters also are teeing off on Kluber like he was throwing BP. Opposing hitters are hitting .347 off of him this year.

Zach McAllister: McAllister has pitched fairly well this season. In just 2 starts McAllister is 1-0 with a 2.31 ERA. He also is keeping runners off of base, sporting a 1.29 WHIP. He also has 11 K’s in 11.2 IP. Almost averaging a strikeout per inning.

Danny Salazar: While I think Salazar has a bright future ahead of him in the MLB, this is not how he wanted to start off his first full season with the Indians. Salazar has good strikeout stuff (14 K’s in 9.1 IP), it’s when he’s not striking guys out he runs into problems. He has a loss and a no decision this season in two starts with a 6.75 ERA. Hitters are hitting .351 off of him. In case you were wondering, that is not very good at all. Also Salazar is sporting a 1.93 WHIP. He needs to keep guys off of base.

Carlos Carrasco: A guy who many feel is only getting the 5th starter spot due to being out of minor league options is pitching, well, like a guy who needs to be in the minor leagues. In both of his starts this season, Carrasco has lost and is posting an ERA of 7.84 while allowing hitters to bat .310 off of him.

Trevor Bauer: A guy who I think will get a lot more starts than we originally thought this season. Bauer is in a tough spot in his career, he does great in the minor leagues, just cannot seem to figure it out at the MLB level (cough Matt Laporta cough). In his lone start this season, a loss, Bauer went 6 innings and only gave up 4 hits and 1 earned run. Not bad for a guy who many would already call a bust. In those 6 innings, Bauer had 8 K’s compared to only two walks. I think the sky is the limit for Bauer, if only he can get the MLB game figured out. At 23 years old, he has a few more years to do it.

To sum it all up, Indians starters this season are 2-5 with an ERA somewhere around 5. The Indians have scored 61 runs which is 13th in the MLB. Our starting pitching is just lagging. We lack a true “ace”. Masterson would be a number 2 or 3 starter on the top 8 MLB teams. It is something that needs to be addressed if the Indians want to push past that first wildcard round. We need to make a splash somehow and add another arm to the rotation this summer if we are serious about a playoff push again. I understand that the season is young, which is why I am not letting myself worry just yet. However, like all of us Cleveland sports fans do, please keep the panic button near by.

-Ian Tumey @CST_IanT

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