Justin Masterson has the best ERA of any starting pitcher on the Indians, at 2.64, and has been rewarded by being placed at the top of the rotation for the second half.
Masterson is third in wins, with 7, but he has not received much run support in many of his games. He has also logged the most innings and struck out the most batters out of any starter on the Indians.
The new rotation features Masterson at the top and then in the following order: Tomlin, Carrasco, Talbot, and Carmona. This new order makes perfect sense, as the best pitcher in the rotation is now at the top.
Fausto Carmona began the year as the top pitcher, but he quickly proved that he does not deserve the title of “ace”. He is currently 4-10 with a 5.78 ERA. He has been on the DL after his embarassing tumble in Cincinnati, but he is expected to return for the series in Minnesota.
Even though Carmona has done very poorly this season, there is one pitcher who has done worse, and that is Mitch Talbot. Talbot is not last in the rotation, but that is mostly to allow Carmona an extra day to heal.
Talbot is 2-6 on the year with a 6.33 ERA. He was just placed on the DL, which is his second stint this season. His next scheduled start will likely be given to Jeanmar Gomez, who could possibly keep that spot, if he does well. The other possibility to take over for Talbot is Alex White. White looked great in his first two starts before getting injured in his third.
It is tough to say for sure that Talbot will be replaced in the rotation, but Manny Acta has never directly denied this possibility. Many fans would like to see Carmona booted from the rotation, but Acta continually stresses the fact that Carmona has good stuff. That is true, but if he never shows this”good stuff”, he cannot continue to pitch on a team trying to reach the playoffs.
The rotation needs at least one more arm to compliment the “Big Three” of Tomlin, Masterson, and Carrasco. This could come from Alex White, Jeanmar Gomez, David Huff, or even through a trade. It will be interesting to see how this plays out as the trade deadline approaches.