Spring Training is well underway, and after assessing what the Indians have to offer in terms of position players here, it's time now to take a look at the team's pitching.
In this installment of my Spring Training Preview (part two of four), I'll begin looking at the Indians' 2011 pitching staff by reviewing the starters. The next article in the series will examine the Tribe bullpen.
Based on early Spring Training chatter, there seems to be a lot of disagreement among observers as to whether the pitching staff, as a whole, is in relatively good shape or has some serious problems.
There's a good argument for both of those perspectives, but realistically, the divide isn't necessarily between good and bad as a summation of the whole staff, but rather between the caliber of the bullpen and the caliber of the rotation.
The Tribe appears to have a really solid group of relievers and a rotation that could go either way. Still, there are too many unknowns this early on in Spring Training to assess either part of the staff in absolute terms. At this point it's looking like bullpen: good, rotation: eh…
Either way, the most pervasive quality of Indians pitching in general appears to be inconsistency, both from one player to the next as well as within many of the individual pitchers' ability to be consistent from one appearance to another.
**Author's Note: The order in which pitchers are listed in this article is not necessarily the order of the Indians 2011 rotation. Aside from Fausto Carmona being named the Opening Day starter, the order of the rotation has not yet been established.