Tribe Notes: Francona waiting to name opening day starter

Tito's waiting to name an opening day starter

James Rapien
March 08, 2019 - 12:05 pm
Feb 18, 2019; Goodyear, AZ, USA; Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber (28) throws during a spring training workout at the Goodyear Ballpark practice fields. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

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Cleveland, OH (92.3 The Fan) – Indians manager Terry Francona says it's too early to name an opening day starter.

Corey Kluber, 32, is coming off of a 20-win season and has been the Indians' opening day starter for the last four seasons. The former Cy Young Award winner has yet to pitch in a Cactus League game. 

“We want to see where Kluber is,” Francona said on Thursday. “Ideally we would have Trevor (Bauer) in between Kluber and Carrasco early in the season just because Trevor is usually the one guy who can go deeper into games earlier than the other guys. So if you can separate them that will help our bullpen. We have time to get to that.”

Carlos Carrasco and Kluber will throw 50 pitches in a simulated game before they pitch this spring. Both are expected to start within the next week. Carrasco could start as soon as this Sunday. Francona decided to take it slow with the veterans because of the workload they took on last season. Carrasco pitched in 32 games and 192 innings in the regular season last year. Kluber started 33 regular season games and threw 215 innings. 

Taking it slow with Carrasco and Kluber makes all the sense in the world. The Indians have one of the best starting rotations in baseball. If they're going to make a run in October, their starting pitching will be the biggest reason why.  

Trevor Bauer made his third start of the spring on Thursday in a 4-3 win over Arizona. He allowed two runs in four innings. He’s posted a 2.45 ERA in 11 innings this spring.

Cy Young Odds – Odds to win the American League Cy Young Award were released by Bet Online earlier this week. Three Indians pitchers are in the top 10. Kluber is the favorite at 5/2. Carrasco is fifth at 16/1 and Bauer is tenth at 22/1. 

The Indians' offseason has been a let down to most, but if their starting rotation holds up, they'll be in a good spot to win a fourth-straight American League Central Championship. 

Sidenote: Are Bauer's odds so low because he still plays with drones?

Check out the rest of the odds below:

Corey Kluber                 5/2      

Chris Sale                     3/1      

Luis Severino                7/1      

Blake Snell                    16/1    

Carlos Carrasco            16/1    

Justin Verlander            16/1    

David Price                   20/1    

Gerrit Cole                    20/1    

James Paxton               22/1    

Trevor Bauer                 22/1 

Jose Berrios                  28/1     

Masahiro Tanaka           28/1     

Rick Porcello                40/1     

Andrew Heaney             50/1     

Charlie Morton              50/1

JA Happ                       50/1     

Marcus Stroman            50/1     

Michael Fulmer              50/1     

Mike Clevinger              50/1     

Nathan Eovaldi             50/1