A little over a year ago, Shane Bieber was pitching for the Double-A Akron Rubberducks. Now, the 24-year-old will be a Major League All-Star in his home ballpark.
The Indians and Major League Baseball announced Friday that Bieber has been named to the American League All-Star team for the game set to take place this Tuesday at Progressive Field in Cleveland. He will replace Texas Rangers lefty Mike Minor, who is scheduled to start for his squad on the Sunday before the Midsummer Classic.
Bieber's selection marks the culmination of a meteoric rise for the former fourth round draft pick that truly began last season, when he came up from the minors to win 11 games. He was penciled in as the fifth starter for 2019, but following injuries to stars like Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, and Mike Clevinger, he soon became one of the focal points of the Tribe's rotation.
The young right-hander has more than accepted the challenge, going 7-3 with a 3.54 ERA (132 ERA+) while striking out a most impressive 133 in 104 1/3 innings. His best start came on May 24, when he K'd 15 Baltimore Orioles in a complete game shutout victory.
Bieber's solid pitching has acted as a de facto glue holding the pitching staff together, and the Indians have managed to climb back into contention in the process. Cleveland has closed the gap to six games behind the Minnesota Twins in the AL Central and currently holds the second wild card spot.
Bieber joins three of his Tribe teammates on the AL roster, including starting first baseman Carlos Santana. Shortstop Francisco Lindor and closer Brad Hand are also on the team as reserves.