CLEVELAND – For the first time in a while, the Indians will have some competition at Spring Training for a spot in their starting rotation, and it’s happening in a year where there are an abundance of question marks about workload.
In 2020, no pitcher in the Major Leagues threw more than 84 innings because of the pandemic-shortened season. In 2019, 15 pitchers (including Shane Bieber) threw more than 200 innings. The drastic difference in workload has many wondering whether starters will be able to jump right back into a full 162-game season and toss as many frames as their bodies had become accustomed to year after year.
“I do think we will be monitoring players and be very thoughtful about how we build guys up and how we monitor workload and fatigue,” Indians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti said, “not just for the start of the season but for the balance of the season.”
Some teams may decide to utilize a six-man rotation to help build starters up at the beginning of the season, but the Indians said they’ll be sticking with a regular five-man rotation because of the five off-days they have in April. From there, each pitcher’s workload will depend on the individual himself.
“The way we generally look at that is we don’t have hard and fast rules or place blanket policies on players,” Antonetti said. “What we try to do is think about each…