Gavin Floyd was scratched from his schedule Cactus League debut, which was to take place this afternoon. Floyd complained of arm soreness after through a bullpen session earlier this week, and that was enough for the team to alter his schedule.
Floyd missed most of the 2013 season while recovering from Tommy John Surgery. He was pitching well in 2014 (2.65 ERA in 9 starts) but suffered a broken bone in his elbow in June and missed the rest of the year. He's been a slightly better than average starter during his career, but health concerns gave him no choice but to sign a one-year deal with incentives. The Tribe inked him for just $4 million in guaranteed money, with another $6 million possible if he's healthy enough to pitch a full season.
The coaching staff has said they don't believe this week's setback is a major issue, but also that they aren't going to rush things just to try and have him in the rotation come Opening Day. If his rehab take a few extra weeks, so be it. Says Terry Francona:
"You'd love every pitcher to make every start all year. OK, but if that doesn't happen, we'd rather somebody make 28 good ones and feel good rather than 33 where they're kind of limping. That doesn't seem to make sense. If we're not deep enough to cover that, that's shame on us."
Fortunately, the Indians do seem deep enough to cover that.
For weeks coverage of the team has centered around the idea of a fight for the fifth spot in the starting rotation. Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, Trevor Bauer, and Floyd have been viewed as in, with Danny Salazar, T.J. House, Zach McAllister, Josh Tomlin, and spring training invitees Shaun Marcum and Bruce Chen all in the mix for the final spot. Salazar has been seen as the favorite, with House next in line. Right now it seems like there might be a couple spots available, and the Opening Day rotation might match what we saw during last August and September.
Either way, Salazar and House are both likely to see plenty of action in the rotation this year, and some of the other guys mentioned are almost certainly going to get some turns as well. There's not much in the way of prospect talent ready to step in for the Tribe in 2015, but they have more guys with solid MLB experience than most teams, depth that can allow them to survive the speed bumps almost every rotation runs into every season.