There is an old adage in baseball that you can never have enough pitching, especially starting pitching. The question is do the Cleveland Indians have enough good starters to fill out the 5-man rotation?
With the Indians, it is about finding quality starters to just fill out the starting rotation. It appears that manager Manny Acta has found what he believes is the best rotation and now everyone is waiting for him to make it official.
It is a fact that Fausto Carmona will be the Indians No. 1 pitcher and will get the nod on opening day against the White Sox. Carmona has had a bit of a roller coaster ride this spring as he is 4-2 with an ERA of 4.50 allowing 12 runs in 24 innings of work.
Carmona is not the worry of Acta and his coaching staff after the way he pitched last year. In 2010, Carmona was 13-14 with a 3.77 ERA with 124 strikeouts.
The Indians have just seven more games in Arizona before they break camp and prepare to start the regular season and for the starters it is about fine tuning some things as they all get ready for their final spring training outing.
Carmona was sharp in his final outing of the spring on Tuesday as he allowed three runs in six innings of work and threw 100 pitches.
After Carmona, the order of the rotation has not been announced but Carlos Carrasco, Justin Masterson and Mitch Talbot appear to have locked up three spots. Masterson and Talbot opened last season in the rotation but this will the first time Carrasco will start the season with the big league club.
Between the three of them, it has been a bit of a struggle this spring as they are a combined 1-3 and each has an ERA over 5.50. For Carrasco and Masterson, it is more of building off what they did in the last month of the season in 2010 as both were very good.
Talbot, on the other hand, struggled down the stretch last season and needs to regain the form that won him a spot in the rotation last spring. Talbot went 10-13 last year with a 4.41 ERA but really struggled in the final two months.
The best starter for the Indians this spring has been Josh Tomlin in his limited time on the mound and he appears a lock to be the Indians fifth starter. Tomlin certainly made an impression on Acta while with the Tribe in 2010 as he won four out of his last six starts.
The Indians did not have any other pitcher step forward this spring to win the fifth spot. David Huff and Jeanmar Gomez really struggled in Cactus League games and Tomlin took advantage of his opportunity.
The Indians rotation may not be full of all-stars in their rotation but the younger guys will get every opportunity to succeed as Acta is the type of manager that does not have the quick hook with his pitching staff. He instills confidence in his pitchers and it shows how much he really believes in them.
The Indians may not compete for the top spot in the American League Central but instead this season will be more about the growth of the team, especially the starting rotation. Patience is the key word this season and it will be needed when it comes to this young core of pitchers.