Cleveland Indians Start Announcing Postseason Plans
Prior to first pitch on Friday, the Cleveland Indians officially announced their starting rotation for the Wild Card series. Zack Meisel who covers the Indians for MLB.com had the news on Twitter.
Aaron Civale will pitch out of the Indians' bullpen for the Wild Card round next week. Should the club advance, he'll return to the rotation.
— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) September 25, 2020
With Aaron Civale now out of the starting rotation for the Wild Card series, that means that Shane Bieber will anchor things down at the top. He will be followed by right-handers Zach Plesac and Carlos Carrasco. For the Indians, that is a luxury to have considering any number of teams would want that type of pitching depth. In fact, it makes Cleveland a very scary team to face during a three-game series especially if Bieber, Plesac, and Carrasco are performing at their best.
The postseason matchups remain fluid both in the National and American Leagues. However, entering play on Saturday, the Indians would face the New York Yankees.
Aaron Civale a Valuable Weapon Out of the Bullpen
Heading into the postseason, the Indians bullpen seems to match up well against almost any contender. Heading into play on Saturday, the bullpen had combined for an ERA of 3.59 over 175 and one-third innings. Overall among the rest of the American League, that ranks third and is fifth overall in baseball. Not the ranking the group had during the first part of this 60-game season, but still impressive.
With Civale moving to the bullpen, the Indians still plan on having him make his start on Saturday against the Pittsburgh Pirates. However, he will be on a limited pitch count.
So far this season, the 25-year old has a 3.99 ERA over 11 starts or 70 innings. In that span, he has allowed 31 runs, eight home runs, and 16 walks while recording 65 strikeouts. Combine that together and it equals an ERA+ of 115 and a WHIP of 1.257. Furthermore, Civale’s K/9 rate sits at 8.4 and he has a 3.63 Fielding Independent Percentage (FIP).
To date, his biggest weapon this season has been his changeup. Civale has held opposing hitters to a .118 batting average and a .294 slugging percentage with that pitch. With that being said, his most common pitch is his cutter which he has thrown 30.2% of the time this year. It has an average velocity of 87.3 Miles Per Hour (MPH) and has resulted in a Whiff Rate of 27.4%.
Indians Walk-Off Heroes This Week
Outside of the news regarding the starting rotation for the Wild Card series, the Indians have had a massive week themselves. Jayson Stark of The Athletic recaps everything nicely in the tweet below.
The #Indians’ amazing week:
Thursday come from 3 down to win
Friday come from 2 down in 9th to walk off again.
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) September 26, 2020
As you can see, it’s truly been a week of walk-off magic for the Indians. The good news for Cleveland is that this is extra momentum with the postseason quickly approaching. Furthermore, during their last 10 games following Friday’s win, Cleveland has an 8-2 record and are in the midst of a six-game streak. Additionally, there is still a chance that they end up winning the American League Central. So both the Chicago White Sox and the Minnesota Twins need to take warning this weekend.
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