Last week I looked at some of the potential outfield trade candidates they Indians may consider.  In this post, I decided to take a look at potential pitchers the Indians may target.

The Indians started the season with a rotation of Fausto Carmona, Carlos Carrasco, Justin Masterson, Josh Tomlin and Mitch Talbot.  Masterson and Tomlin have been the most reliable of the five; Mitch Talbot currently sits on the disabled list while David Huff fills his spot.

Here are the numbers of the original starting five:

Fausto Carmona: 5-10, 5.63 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 63 strikeouts; batters are hitting .276 off him in 110.1 innings pitched.  Carmona tends to be either terrible or brilliant, sometimes both within the same game.  His sinker is nasty and he generally has good stuff; if he can keep his head on straight he’s a force to be reckoned with.

Carlos Carrasco: 8-8, 4.25 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 79 strikeouts; batters are hitting .260 off him in 114.1 innings pitched.  Carrasco has been the poster boy for inconsistency, much like Carmona.  He had an incredible month of June, but has struggled during many games this season.

Justin Masterson: 8-7, 2.57 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 107 strikeouts; batters are hitting .240 off him in 143.1 innings pitched.  Masterson has been the Indians’ most dependable pitcher this season.  He’s suffered from a lack of run support, and deserves more than 8 wins.

Josh Tomlin: 11-4, 4.12 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 70 strikeouts; batters are hitting .244 off him in 126.2 innings pitched.  Tomlin has carried his 5+ innings streak to 30 games – every start of his major league career.  He doesn’t have the greatest stuff, but his cool demeanor and ability to locate has been the key to his success.

Mitch Talbot: 2-6, 6.33 ERA, 1.80 WHIP, 35 strikeouts; hitters are hitting .338 off him in 58.1 innings pitched.  – Talbot is scheduled to start a rehab appearance with Triple-A Columbus on Tuesday.  Talbot has had a couple of good starts, but is obviously the worst of the Indians starters.  He’s been on and off the DL the past 2 years, so he also has had problems staying healthy.

The figures of Indians farm system pitchers that have filled in throughout the season:

David Huff: 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 5 strikeouts; batters are hitting .208 off him in 7 major league innings pitched.  Stats at Columbus this season: 8-3, 3.86 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 63 strikeouts in 100.1 minor league innings pitched.  Huff has been on and off the past few seasons, but was solid in his spot start for the Indians against the Twins in Minnesota last week.  He was so good, it earned him a spot on the major league roster for now; Jeanmar Gomez returned to Columbus.

Jeanmar Gomez: 0-2, 5.70 ERA, 1.65 WHIP, 11 strikeouts; batters are hitting .330 off him in 23.2 major league innings pitched.  Stats at Columbus this season: 10-3, 2.32 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 80 strikeouts in 100.2 minor league innings pitched.  Gomez has a great track record in the minor leagues (including a perfect game at Akron in May of 2009), but struggles every time he comes to Cleveland.

Zach McAllister: 0-0, 4.50 ERA, 2.00 WHIP, 4 strikeouts; batters are hitting .278 off him in 4 major league innings.  Stats at Columbus this season: 8-3, 3.11 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 81 strikeouts in 107 minor league innings pitched.  McAllister came to Cleveland from the New York Yankees system in the 2010 Austin Kearns trade.  Put up solid numbers at Columbus; the poor WHIP at the major league level could be attributed to nerves (he walked 3 people).

Here are the numbers of pitchers the Indians supposedly have interest in via trade:

Hiroki Kuroda, Los Angeles Dodgers: 6-12, 3.19 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 97 strikeouts; batters are hitting .252 innings off him in 127 innings pitched.  According to MLB Trade Rumors, the Indians, Tigers and Rangers are the three teams hottest on Kuroda.  He has a full no-trade clause, and supposedly does not want to pitch on the east coast.  He would supposedly wave the no-trade for the Yankees and Red Sox, but it’s tough to determine if that may be a sticking point in a trade with Cleveland.

Aaron Harang, San Diego Padres: 9-2, 3.45 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 72 strikeouts; batters are hitting .259 off him in 104.1 innings pitched.  These are pretty solid numbers for Harang, but it’s tough to determine how they would transfer to the American League and to a park that was less pitcher friendly than Petco.

Jeremy Guthrie, Baltimore Orioles: 4-14, 4.33 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 85 strikeouts; batters are hitting .272 off him in 137.1 innings pitched.  Guthrie was originally drafted by the Indians in 2002 (22nd overall), but was designated for assignment in 2007 and claimed by Baltimore.  His numbers don’t impress me that much; and I’d almost rather see the Indians turn to a minor league option than surrender something for Guthrie.

What are your thoughts on the Tribe and pitchers?  Would you prioritize an outfielder or a pitcher?  Would you make a trade for any of the available pitchers?  I focused on the ones the Indians were connected to most often, but there are others that are supposedly “available.”


***Note – Fausto Carmona’s numbers do not include tonight’s start against the Angels.


  • Bobby says:

    At this point, I am almost inclined to hope that the Indians let the deadline pass without making a deal. Especially when it comes to the pitching. Our young pitching is as solid as anyone else’s, and I would rather save them for 2012 than ship them off for someone who is an “inning eater.” Heck, I’d rather miss out on the playoffs with young guys making spot starts, than give away talented young arms.
    Right now, I really only would be happy with the Indians making a trade for one of the following two: Hunter Pence, or B.J. Upton. Here is why: While Pence will commande a much higher price, both of these two are relatively young, and would fit into the Indians picture for 2012. Who know’s what will come of Grady, or if he can come back to be the player he was, so these guys add insurance to the outfield. Pence could play left, Brantley in center, and Choo in right. Or Upton could play center, and keep Brantley and Choo on the corners. Either of these two are highly unlikely to be in an Indians uniform, but they seem like only deals that make sense because they fit into the longterm picture.

  • Tom says:

    I’m with Bobby. Our pitching depth is what’s been keeping us competitive this year, even though the hitting has struggled. I don’t know who we should be going for in the outfield, but I think that Grady is about done as an everyday player and we should not count on him to come back as one. (I do remember one of the Indians announcers commenting during Grady’s rookie season, “The way this young man plays, there’s a good chance that he will be hurt a lot during his career.”)

    Spend some money on hitting, but don’t give away the farm.

  • Drew says:

    I like Brantley and I think Carrera can fill in until Choo gets back where he will serve as a great 4th outfielder for the rest of the season. That leaves a gaping hole in the outfield that I just cannot sit patiently any longer watching Kearns or Buck occupy. Why not trade prospects for Hunter Pence? He is what you hope your prospect will blossom into!