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Indians announce starting rotation, bullpen for 2014

Corey Kluber pitches during the first inning against the Houston Astros at Progressive Field on September 22, 2013
Corey Kluber pitches during the first inning against the Houston Astros at Progressive Field on September 22, 2013
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

With just five days left until opening day, the Cleveland Indians have largely finalized the team's starting rotation and position-player roster with announcements on Wednesday.

Justin Masterson pitches during a spring training game against the Cincinnati Reds.
Justin Masterson pitches during a spring training game against the Cincinnati Reds.
(Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images)

Justin Masterson will once again spearhead the Indians rotation. The right-hander will pitch his sixth year in Cleveland and is coming off one of his strongest seasons in 2013. Masterson went 14-10 last season with a 3.45 ERA, having recorded three complete game shutouts.

Joining Masterson is Corey Kluber, who has started 26 games for Cleveland over the past two seasons. Kluber had a breakout year in 2013, posting a solid 3.85 ERA in his first season as a regular starter.

Zach McAllister recorded similar numbers as Kluber in 2013, starting 24 games (going 9-9) with a 3.75 ERA. Danny Salazar, just 23 years old, was a bright spot in the Tribe rotation last year, posting a 3.12 ERA in 10 starts. The team hopes he can improve further joining the rotation full-time this season.

The #5 spot goes to Carlos Carrasco, who has appeared in 48 games over four seasons in Cleveland. The bulk of that time came in 2012, starting 21 games and going 8-9 with a 4.62 ERA. He struggled in seven starts (and 15 total appearances) last season, throwing a 6.75 ERA and giving up 36 runs in 46 2/3 innings.

On the bullpen side, the Indians added veteran closer John Axford to replace Chris Perez who went to the Dodgers. Axford was a standout reliever in 2010 and 2011 for the Milwaukee Brewers and has struggled in recent years, but the Indians hope the 31-year-old can bounce back in his first time in the American League.

Alongside Axford are Cody Allen (2.43 ERA in 77 games for the Tribe in 2013), Bryan Shaw (3.24 ERA in 70 games for Cleveland last season), Vinnie Pestano (4.08 ERA in 37 games) and Marc Rzepczynski (0.89 ERA in 27 games).

New to the club are Josh Outman, former reliever with the Oakland A's and Colorado Rockies; Scott Atchison, reliever most recently with the Boston Red Sox and New York Mets; and Blake Wood, who appeared in 106 games with the Kansas City Royals in 2010 and 2011 as well as two brief outings with Cleveland last season.