On Monday, June 25, the Cleveland Indians demoted starter Jeanmar Gomez to the Class AAA Columbus Clippers, a seemingly inevitable move. In his last six big-league starts Gomez went 1-5 with a 7.92 ERA. Overall, Jeanmar Gomez compiled a 4-7 record and 5.18 ERA while starting 13 games during the first three months of the 2012 season.
Thankfully, the Cleveland Indians possess a viable replacement for Gomez in Class AAA starter Zach McAllister. As MLB.com's Jordan Bastian notes, McAllister should receive the call-up to replace Gomez in the starting rotation when the Tribe go head-to-head with the Baltimore Orioles Thursday, June 28.
Until then the Tribe will carry Scott Barnes, an extra bullpen arm. The move already paid off as Barnes saw action June 25 after starter Josh Tomlin struggled against the New York Yankees. Tomlin faltered at the hitter friendly Yankee Stadium, allowing six runs in three innings.
Anyways, back to Zach McAllister. McAllister started four games earlier in the season for the Cleveland Indians, going 1-1 with a 3.96 ERA. These numbers prove quite acceptable for an end-of-the-rotation guy. If McAllister can provide similar numbers this go-round, the Tribe should remain in good shape with starting pitching.
However, should McAllister scuffle or a Tribe starter get injured, I will worry. Jeanmar Gomez's troubles weaken the Indians' rotation depth. Prior to Gomez's bad outings I felt comfortable knowing Cleveland could turn to Zach McAllister in case something happened to somebody in the rotation. What about now, though?
Until Jeanmar Gomez regains his composure, I assume Class AAA pitchers Kevin Slowey and David Huff become the Tribe's emergency starters. Slowey and Huff both underperformed during spring training. With the Columbus Clippers in 2012, Slowey and Huff maintain mediocre numbers.
Over eight starts Kevin Slowey holds a 3-3 record and 5.14 ERA. David Huff possesses the more impressive statistics, also holding a 3-3 record but with a lower ERA (4.34) in more starts (10). Yet Huff last enjoyed success on the big league level in 2009 when he went 11-8 with a 5.61 ERA. Over a combined 25 major-league starts in 2010 and 2011, Huff posted a 4-17 record and 5.39 ERA.
Ultimately, there appears no immediate reason to panic over the Indians' starting pitching, but we Clevelanders should remain cautious about the rotation's depth. Hopefully, Jeanmar Gomez collects himself quickly down in Class AAA.
Zachary Fenell fell in love with the Cleveland Indians during the 1995 season when the Tribe powered their way to the organization's first World Series appearance since 1954. While the Indians lost some allure since the 1990s you will still find Zachary watching the games on TV, listening to them on the radio, or best yet taking in a game from the stands at Progressive Field.
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