CLEVELAND — Editor's note: the video in the player above is from Feb. 22, 2021.
For the first time in more than a decade, Carlos Carrasco won't be a member of the Cleveland Indians roster in 2021.
With that in mind, let's take a look at Cleveland's options to replace Carrasco, who was traded alongside Francisco Lindor to the New York Mets last month.
Acquired as a part of the package the Indians received from the San Diego Padres in last season's Mike Clevinger trade, Cal Quantrill has primarily been used out of the bullpen in his two seasons in the big leagues, but also possesses experience as a starter. In 18 total appearances last season (including three starts), the right-hander totaled a 2.25 ERA and 31 strikeouts.
Selected in the first round of the 2016 MLB Draft (eighth overall), the 26-year-old Quantrill possesses perhaps the highest upside of the candidates to replace Carrasco and should benefit from a full offseason in Cleveland's pitching program. At this point, he appears to be a front-runner to be a part of the Indians' rotation, with Carrasco's departure providing the most obvious opening.
Despite regularly receiving opportunities at the big league level since 2018, Adam Plutko has yet to secure a full-time spot in Cleveland's rotation. Rather, the right-hander has typically pitched in spot starts or due to injuries, posting a 5.05 ERA in 48 appearances (36 starts) in the past three seasons.
With the 29-year-old Plutko out of minor league options, the Indians will have to decide for a second straight season whether to keep him on their big league roster or risk his likely departure from the organization. Considering his ability to also pitch of the bullpen, it seems likely he'll remain on Cleveland's roster to start the season and continue his role as the Indians' de facto No. 6 starter.
Acquired from the Padres in the three-way trade that sent Trevor Bauer to the Cincinnati Reds in 2019, Logan Allen provides the Indians with a rare left-handed option for their starting rotation. Once considered one of the top prospects in talent-rich San Diego's organization, Allen has started just four games in two seasons at the Major League level, but has primarily been used as a starter in the minor leagues.
At just 23-years-old, there's less urgency for Allen to begin the 2021 season in the big leagues. Unless Cleveland opts to use him as a left-handed option out of the bullpen, he'll likely begin the season in Triple-A Columbus, where he can continue to be groomed for a future full-time role in the Indians' rotation.