Depth is the key to the back-end of the Indians rotation--EHC Podcast 40

  Mike Clevinger--AP Photo/Morry Gash  
Sometimes the back-end is the best-end.

While it would be hyperbole to say that while comparing Trevor Bauer, Cody Anderson, Josh Tomlin, T.J. House and Michael Clevinger to Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar, they may prove to be just important as the Indians' three Cy Young candidates.

Each starter that's fighting for the #4 and #5 spots in the Tribe rotation has a mysterious upside, that enticing to ponder while considering who might be the favorite to break camp with the Indians. And while breaking camp on the 25-man rotation is important, who ultimately ends up in the rotation come August and September may ultimately be the key to an Indians' playoff run.

The early favorites are clearly Bauer and Tomlin. Bauer has been a tangible part of the Indians' future plans over the past two seasons. While he was relegated to the bullpen late in 2015, his reasonable cost, and his control mean that he'll get every chance to succeed.

While Bauer's pedigree places him in a prime position prior to spring training, perhaps on equal footing is the mercurial Josh Tomlin, who has proven to be one of the most wily pitchers for Terry Francona's charges over the past several seasons. Tomlin doesn't possess a power arm, but does seem to understand how to "pitch." If he stays healthy, he should lock down a spot.

Cody Anderson is still a "young" pitcher in that he hasn't really had the years as a starter that many of the others have. He was a reliever in college, but only after a stint as an outfielder. He became a starter with the Indians, and hasn't looked back since. He burst on the scene with an outstanding 2015 campaign, and has a new curveball that could take him over the next hump he's likely to face.

T.J. House had some headscratchingly good statistics heading in 2014, but missed his chance in 2015 to build upon his numbers thanks to an injury. Yet, being a lefty with some velocity and sterling control will give him numerous chances in the coming year to earn his way back.

Perhaps the most promising of the bunch is Mike Clevinger, whose 8+ K-Rate was matched with a near 2 Walk-Rate. The Indians are high on him, and his stuff and ability could make him a bit more enticing than a bottom-end guy as the year progresses.

EHC's Jim Pete and Mike Hattery discuss the Indians rotation, and give their favorites to swallow up starts as the year progresses.

The audio:

The video:

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