The Most Exciting Young Rotation In Baseball

Imagine this: You’re a 2013 playoff team coming off a huge turnaround from a poor 2012 season. You accomplished this largely due to a pitching staff that allowed 183 fewer runs to score than the year before. When the offseason comes, 40 percent of the rotation departs via free agency. To replace them and support a good offense that hopes to contend in 2014, you do … nothing.

If that sounds crazy, well, maybe it is. But that’s the path the Cleveland Indians have chosen to take this year. Instead, they are going to entrust their playoff hopes to a starting rotation made up entirely of internal options in their 20s, several of whom many fans would have difficulty naming were they spotted half the letters in their names.

Maybe that works out, and maybe it doesn’t. Either way, Cleveland is counting on its own young talent, which is generally preferable to gambling on the low-upside Jason Vargases and Edinson Volquezes of the world. The end result is a rotation that might have one of the highest variances in possible outcomes between “great” and “terrible” of any playoff contender, and though they might not be the best in the game or even their own division, that makes them among the most intriguing.

That makes them, if we can use a word too rarely used in the game today, fun.

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Mike Petriello lives in New York and writes about the Dodgers daily at Dodgers Digest, as well as contributing to ESPN Insider. He wrote two chapters in the 2014 Hardball Times Annual as well as building The Hardball Times and TechGraphs, and was an editorial producer at Sports on Earth. Find him at @mike_petriello.

One Response to “The Most Exciting Young Rotation In Baseball”

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  1. Hask12 says:

    The owner promised that when the team became competitive he would spend the big money. He lied. You don’t rush to sign players to long term contracts after just one good year. This team continues to be a ship without a rudder. Indiana couldn’t beat teams with a winning record last year.

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