Cleveland, OH

The Cleveland Indians Ace Isn't Progressing

Zachary Walston

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By Erik Drost - Shane Bieber

It's been a rough week for Cleveland Indians fans.

They went 2-5, dropping them 5 games below the second wild-card spot. While not insurmountable, three teams sit ahead of them and the Angels are only a half-game behind. With the deadline around the corner, teams are trying to determine if they will buy or sell. The latest news out of Cleveland may have them pushing towards the sell side of the ledger.

Shane Bieber, Cleveland ace and defending Cy Young Award winner, has been transferred to the 60-days Injured List, extending his stay by at least three more weeks.

Bieber was first added to the 10-day Injured List on June 14 with a subscapularis strain. The subscapularis is one of the four rotator cuff muscles. It is an arm internal rotator, meaning if you held your arm at your side and bent your elbow at a 90-degree angle, the subscapularis helps you rotate your arm in towards your belly.

The subscapularis is one of the primary muscles used to generate power and throw a ball. It is more common for pitchers to injure one of the other rotator cuff muscles as the demand on the external rotators - the muscles that slow the arm down - is much greater. Once the subscapularis is injured, however, it can be challenging for a pitcher to rehab it, as evident by Bieber's long recovery.

Bieber's season is not over, he will likely return in late August or early September, requiring a rehab assignment prior to re-joining Cleveland, but it may be too little, too late. To get an idea of how much Bieber influences Cleveland's chances of winning, at the time of the injury, Cleveland sat only 4.5 games behind the first-place White Sox. They are 8.5 games behind now.

Cleveland has only a week to decide whether they want to buy or sell. Buying and not making the playoffs is costly. Cleveland is a mid-market team, constantly looking at ways to minimize payroll. Aside from the draft, the trade deadline is the best way to replenish a farm system and prepare for future seasons. At the trade deadline, teams pay a premium to fuel a playoff run.

The White Sox just welcomes slugger Eloy Jimenez back and Luis Roberts isn't far behind. Cleveland won't catch Chicago.

Can they move up the wildcard standings? Unless they feel one or two pieces can close the wild card gap, they are better served selling. Cleveland relies on cheap, young talent to compete. Now is the time to add more of that, not a pricey rental at the cost of their farm system.

The consensus amongst all sports fans, Cleveland include, is the new name missed the mark. Cleveland fans are already dreading being referred to as the Guardians. Blowing the trade deadline and worsening next year's team will only make fans dread the 2022 season more.

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I am a physical therapist, researcher, and educator whose mission is to challenge health misinformation. You will find articles about health, fitness, medical care, psychology, and professional development on my site. As the husband of a real estate agent, you will also find real estate and housing tips.

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