CLEVELAND– The Cleveland Indians have set their starting rotation for the ALDS.
Trevor Bauer will start Game 1, while Corey Kluber will go in Game 2. Carlos Carrasco will pitch on the road in Game 3 on Sunday, while Josh Tomlin, as of right now, would go in Game 4. If there was a Game 5, the team would go back to Kluber.
“We wanted to keep Kluber on his day, so that was the reason the 2, 5. Because it will be on his regular day,” Francona said.
“I talked to Kluber about it in fact even a couple of weeks ago. I think on a number of reasons it makes good sense. … the biggest thing was keeping him on his five day. That was really important to Kluber, and that was really the only way to do it. Now again, you don’t want to put the cart ahead of the horse, but if you’re fortunate enough to win in four, you have your ace ready for the next series.”
Yesterday, Kluber was named the American League pitcher of the month for the third time this season, after posting a 5-0 record and 0.84 ERA in the month of September. The final month of the regular season likely put the finishing touches on his Cy Young campaign.
As for right now, both Tomlin and Bauer could see time in the bullpen as well during the first series.
“Now saying that, because we’re a little creative with our roster, Tomlin will be available in the bullpen the first couple of games, so Game 4 could change,” Francona said. “And then Trevor will be available later in the series whether it be a start or bullpen. We’re trying to get as much flexibility as we can.”
Francona also said that the chances of any starter other than Kluber going deep into the game are not very good, because the team will want to get to the bullpen regardless of whether or not they are winning or losing.