Cal Quantrill Continues to Be a Reliable Back-End Starter

Cal Quantrill

Cal Quantrill earned his 11th victory of the season Tuesday against the Baltimore Orioles. The Cleveland Guardians pitcher struck out four in six innings while allowing a run and three walks. The 27-year-old pitched at least six innings in all six of his starts in August. Quantrill compiled a 4-0 record with a 2.13 ERA, 0.763 WHIP and 27:8 K:BB in 38 innings. Opponents were .162/.213/.262 against him. He may not be a Cy Young candidate, but that shouldn’t matter. Quantrill has been the Guardians’ most consistent pitcher all season. Every time he’s on the mound, he’s reliable enough to keep Cleveland close in games.

Cal Quantrill

Four Quality Starts

Quantrill has four quality starts in his last five appearances. However, they have not been the easiest of matchups either. He’s faced the Houston Astros, Toronto Blue Jays, San Diego Padres and the Orioles in those outings. It’s impressive considering what’s he done of late. But, his starts fall into a particular pattern Quantrill has followed in 2022. In nine starts against winning teams, he has a 2.67 ERA; against losing teams, he has a 4.03 ERA in 16 starts.

There’s No Place Like Home

It’s no secret that Quantrill has pitched well at Progressive Field. At home this season, he has a 3.24 ERA, a .229 opponent average and a 5.08 SO/9. He brings a level of calmness on the days he starts, which is nothing but a huge benefit for Cleveland. The Guardians have a couple of weeks left of the season, and Quantrill will be a big part of their playoffs and perhaps win the AL Central division crown.

Quantrill’s fWAR

Cleveland acquired most of its starting rotation in the 2016 MLB Draft. While that doesn’t include Quantrill, the eighth overall selection of that class, he ranks in the top-10 for fWAR for pitchers drafted in 2016. Quantrill is not the only Guardians pitcher on the list. Aaron Civale was a third-round pick, and Shane Bieber was taken in the following round. Then, there’s Zach Pleasc, the 12th-round pick who underwent Tommy John surgery before the draft.

  1. Shane Bieber, 17.8
  2. Corbin Burnes, 13.2
  3. Zac Gallen, 7.6
  4. Tony Gonsolin, 5.6
  5. Eric Lauer, 5.4
  6. Cal Quantrill, 5.1
  7. Aaron Civale, 4.4
  8. Zach Plesac, 4.3
  9. Ian Anderson, 3.8
  10. Cole Irvin, 3.7

Quantrill, Bieber, McKenzie

Quantrill and his teammates Shane Bieber and Triston McKenzie have carried the rotation on their shoulders. Since August 1, Cleveland’s rotation has posted a 3.30 ERA. But, the pitching staff has taken the blame in the recent weeks as the Guardians have allowed more than four runs once over the last month. The trio of pitchers will be relied upon more, with Plesac out with a broken hand and Civale still having a balky forearm.

Now that the calendar has turned to September, the Guardians will be tested further. With Plesac and Civale out, Cody Morris and Xzavion Curry will fill in for the injured pitchers. There is some concern about the league’s youngest roster slamming into a wall. If the Guardians can maintain their lead in the AL Central and advance to the Wild Card series, they have no shortage of starters who could start Game 1. There’s Bieber, the 2020 AL Cy Young Award winner and a rising star in McKenzie. It’s time to add Quantrill’s name to that list.

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Players mentioned:

Cal Quantrill, Aaron Civale, Shane Bieber, Corbin BurnesZac GallenTony GonsolinEric LauerZach Plesac, Ian AndersonCole IrvinTriston McKenzie, Cody Morris, Xzavion Curry