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Corey Kluber doesn’t deserve a rotation spot

... and other hot takes from the Let’s Go Tribe community.

MLB: Cleveland Indians at Kansas City Royals Peter G. Aiken

Every week once in a while I ask for your sizzling hot takes on Twitter so we can argue about them because arguing is fun. This is the Hot Take Corner.

Hello everyone who didn’t angrily look at the title and skip to the comments to call me all sorts of names. This is the Hot Take Corner, and I was able to scoop up a lot of great hot takes from Indians fans across the internet this time around.

It might seem like odd time to do one of these posts, since the Indians are actually pretty good right now, but that’s when most of the good hot takes come out. Everyone can yell about trading everyone when the Indians are losing to the White Sox and spiraling into a pit of despair, but it takes a truly special talent for a take like “the Tribe needs Josh Tomlin” to come out while the team is good.

Speaking of ...

Nope. No. Nope.

Josh Tomlin has found a home in the Braves’ bullpen and I’m sincerely happy for him. He has taken his ability to avoid issuing walks despite a lack of strikeouts and ran with it, while also allowing fewer home runs than he did in most seasons with the Indians. Happy for him, but the Indians do not need him back. Not as a reliever, and certainly not as a starter.

If anything, the Indians already have a pair of potential good Josh Tomlins in the form of Zach Plesac and Adam Civale. When the Indians’ rotation is at full health they have, put simply, too many quality pitchers. If everyone comes together at once, healthy and effective, there are going to be multiple Indians pitchers capable of being a solid No. 5 starter in Columbus just because there’s nowhere to put them in the majors.

I’m happy for Josh Tomlin right where he is.

YES. There are things out there like the Vintage Base Ball Association that recreate baseball how it was in its infancy, but I’d love to see some attempt at de-technologifizing (that’s a word, don’t bother Googling it) the game. I don’t want to get too old many yells at cloud-y here, but I’m all for baseball getting weird by way of simplification. It’ll never happen, and honestly it probably shouldn’t, but it’s fun to think about at least.

As for the second point ... is he going to, though? Santana hasn’t been particularly lucky this season (.302 BABIP), he’s just hitting the ball all over the field more than ever before, and hitting it harder than he ever has. At this point, I think the only thing that will slow him down is age, which will hopefully come after his current contract expires.

If there’s anything even minor to be worried about, it might be the lowered pull rate, combined a higher ground-ball right, coming back to bite him. Currently he’s putting the ball on the ground 48.3% of the time, which is a career high by a longshot, and he’s not hitting line drives quite like was in his peak. Do teams eventually fix their shift against him?

I am shooketh.

Corey Kluber has been out since May 1 after a comebacker broke his non-throwing arm. Prior to that, he didn’t look like the Kluber of old at all. In seven starts Kluber carried a 5.80 ERA with one of the worst strikeout rates of his career (22.6%), and highest walk rate ever (8.9%). Essentially, he was similar to the pitcher he was in 2018, but he couldn’t stop walking batters; he walked 15 of them in 35.2 innings. Compare that to the 34 he walked in 215.0 innings last season.

But, no, he deserves a spot. Come on, now. He’s going to have a tremendously long leash, I don’t care how well Zach Plesac and Aaron Civale pitch down the stretch, their arms are going to tire and they’re going to pitch like rookies at some point. Kluber is not the best starter in the rotation anymore — on a full squad he might be the fourth best — but he’s in the mix, for sure.

I hate you for making me think of this again.

My thoughts on this float back to the piece Chris Davies wrote earlier this week about discontent fans being dragged through the mud because the Indians happen to be good now.

I would hope that the Indians are on the side of those concerned fans, because it means they realize a good streak doesn’t solve everything. You can’t just discount the first two months of the season and assume that Bobby Bradley and Oscar Mercado are going to surpass expectations all season long. You can’t assume that Jason Kipnis and José Ramírez are fine because they had a hot couple weeks.

If they make a trade, I think it’ll be at the last second, so they can really assess what they need with injuries and overall performances. But I’d be shocked and disappointed to see them stand pat. That’s the only reason I’m not quite on the same anger boat as Chris — to me, the trade deadline is when I’m going to panic and/or throw up my hands in disgust at this front office. Do something.

This one seems popular, and I don’t get it. While outlines on logos look cheap and outdated and I will fist fight people over this.

Man, that would be one hell of a gamble. But if it worked and they still got in the playoffs ... I don’t know. This season has been a whole hell of a lot more fun than 2018 when the team has been good, but those first couple months were brutal.

If anything, this season only looks exciting because the Indians have to chase down the Twins. That gives the players something to play for and fans something to root for. Could you imagine if this team as it stood three weeks ago — 31-31, -12 run differential, and losing to bad teams — led the AL Central?

I’d be clawing my eyes out. If the Indians can fight their way back and win the Central, I’ll look back on this season more fondly than 2018, easily — warts and all.

When you’re rich enough to own a baseball team, you have to eventually run out of things to spend money on, right? Maybe he does just enjoy seeing how much he can inflame the peasants.

“I could buy another boat, or I could light an entire section of the internet on fire just by refusing to put anymore money into my baseball team.” Maybe seven boats doesn’t buy happiness, but inciting a virtual riot does.

I mean, yes. He’s going to go through stretches that would make Pedro Cerrano chuckle, but that’s what you get with a big man who hits balls a thousand feet without the patience of Carlos Santana. I still take it as long it means a big dose of massive dongs.

This, again, goes back to the point above about the Indians not being content with where they are at the trade deadline. Jason Kipnis may have a great month of June and part of July, but let’s no pretend like Whit Merrifield wouldn’t be a massive upgrade. Either at second base or the outfield (or both!), there’s a spot for him on the Indians, and I would still love to see it happen.

By the sounds of it, the cost with astronomical. The Royals don’t want to let their best player go for nothing, especially with the three years of inexpensive control (four with a club option) he has left.

They are just the worst. Ruins an otherwise beautiful stadium.

Agree, as long as it isn’t that goddamn guitar. I don’t see how the entire Indians branding can revolve around just the Block C and nothing else, but what can they possibly do while still retaining the name? They can’t possibly go back to any sort of Native American imagery (and they shouldn’t), but what does that leave? I would be ok with them leaving the sleeves blank next season, but it’s not a very exciting design to have on its own.

Also, fun side note, this tweet introduced me to thirsty graphic designer Twitter, wherein half a dozen graphic designers with barebones websites came to the rescue to design us a new logo. Presumably because they had a Tweetdeck column up for “need logo” and didn’t bother to find the context.

Unfortunately, Paul Dolan won’t return our phone calls so those proposals have gone nowhere to date.

I mean ... I’ll take it? I think that’s somewhere between his actual projections and where it seems like he’s headed with his revamped swing, so I’d be happy with 2-3 WAR every year through his prime, around a .300 batting average and 10 or so home runs a season. Sign me up.

If he can ever learn how walls work, I think Mercado will be a pretty solid defender in center, albeit probably not Gold Glove-worthy. The dude is just so fast.

I’d be disappointed if they aren’t trying to steal signs or get ahead however they can.

The Indians have flown by the seat of their pants with regards to their bullpen for the last four years, and it’s worked. With the exception of 2018 — where they were relying too much on big names like Cody Allen and Andrew Miller even though they clearly weren’t getting it done — I have no reason to doubt they can keep doing it. If part of the bullpen starts to regress, they have more than they can add. James Karinchak will be healthy eventually (hopefully?!)

On a semi-related note, trading Brad Hand is still a possibility even if the Indians are all-in. It’s just too enticing to trade a reliever at his peak for whatever you can get for him. The Indians know first-hand how quickly relievers can turn to dust — not to mention how easily they can be replaced. Why not stock the upper levels of the farm or get a bat from a desperate team at the deadline?

As far as ruining the team’s chances at a playoff run, it feels like anything could do that right now. Eight games back with almost half a season left to play still isn’t impossible, but they can’t afford any cogs in the machine to fail if they want to make a run at this point.

Agree. You could point out that the Indians passed on Walker Buehler to get him as a reason it was a bad pick, but hindsight is 80/80 on the prospect scale, as they say. He was a first-overall talent sitting there at 17th pick. I don’t know how you pass that up.