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Starting Pitching Has Been Pleasant Surprise for Cleveland Indians

June 25th, 2013 at 9:07 PM
By Brett Gibson

 'Zach McAllister, Lou Marson' photo (c) 2012, Keith Allison - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/                                                                                                       

Before spring training even began for the 2013 season, the common consensus amongst the fans and media were the Indians would have to hit their way to the post season.  With the additions of Michael Bourn, Nick Swisher, Mark Reynolds and a deeper bench with Ryan Raburn and Mike Aviles, the offense was supposed to pick up the pitching.  

As we approach the All-Star break, the exact opposite has happened so far with the Tribe. Justin Masterson has returned to his 2011 form as Cleveland's ace.  Ubaldo Jiminez, who will probably never consistently return to his 2010 first half dominance, has kept the Indians in the game for most of his starts which is all you can ask of your pitchers.  

Ideally Terry Francona and his staff would like to see Jiminez go deeper in his starts, but it is tough to complain too much the way Jiminez has battled back to be a viable starter

Zach McAllister and Corey Kluber have also stepped up for the Tribe in a big way by pitching inside and pounding the strike zone making batters earn their way on base.  

Scott Kazmir has had his ups and downs so far, but his velocity has been respectable in the mid to low 90's, and is the lone lefty in Cleveland's current starting rotation.  Knowing the low risk high reward Kazmir would be, I think the Indians front office is fine with the way Kazmir has contributed.

If Cleveland's starting pitching continues to hold up, and highly touted prospect Trevor Bauer can contribute this season, don't be surprised to see the Indians in the hunt late this season.

Tags: Baseball, Cleveland, Cleveland Indians, Justin Masterson, MLB, Scott Kazmir

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