If you’ve followed the Cleveland Indians, you know the club has a tendency to churn out quality starting pitching seemingly out of nowhere. From that perspective, Aaron Civale’s 2019 rise isn’t that surprising.
Civale opened last season with Double-A Akron, modestly ranked among Cleveland’s prospects. He ended it by putting his name in the running for the Tribe’s 2020 starting rotation.
Arriving with little fanfare last June, Civale calmly and quickly made his presence known, striking out the side in his very first big-league inning. By the time the season wrapped up, he had the best ERA- (49) and WHIP (1.04) among all Indians’ starters.
At first glance, Civale’s quick ascension feels eerily familiar. It was the same type of quietly impressive upswing seen from the likes of Corey Kluber and Shane Bieber.
Is that what we’re witnessing here? Is 2020 the year Civale cements his status as the next unexpected star of Cleveland’s rotation?