The 2016 season for the 29-year-old right-hander will likely be remembered for giving up the game-winning run in Game 7 of the World Series, however, the reliever was also an integral part of the bullpen that helped Cleveland get to that point. Although Bryan Shaw posted a relatively underwhelming regular season line, notching a 2-5 record, 3.24 ERA, and one save in four appearances across 66.2 innings, the setup man did produce a career best 9.3 K/9 rate and AL-best 75 appearances. He also heated up in the second half of the season, posting a 2.32 ERA after the All-Star break and earning him a pivotal spot in the heart of Cleveland's bullpen throughout the playoffs. The reliever should factor heavily into the Indians' bullpen next season, as he has led all AL pitchers in appearances from 2012-2016. His durability alone should lock Shaw into the middle of the bullpen alongside Andrew Miller and Cody Allen.
Shaw and the Indians avoided arbitration on Friday with a $4.6 million deal, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports. Shaw was a valuable member of the daunting Cleveland bullpen in 2016, leading the league in appearances with 75 while posting a strong 3.24 ERA. This should be his final round of arbitration, with the 29-year-old likely hitting free agency next offseason.
Shaw allowed four runs over 14.1 innings with 13 strikeouts and nine walks during July. All of those runs came on July 18 against Kansas City. Take out that showing and Shaw has not allowed a run in his last 19 innings as the setup man for the Indians. Although the addition of Andrew Miller could hinder Shaw's hold opportunities moving forward this season.
Shaw will remain the Indians' set-up man despite recent struggles according to manager Terry Francona, Paul Hoynes of Cleveland.com reports. Shaw has allowed at least one earned run in each of his last three appearances, and a home run in two of those three, ballooning his ERA to 5.68 on the year. He will continue to get hold opportunities, but he has not been sharp as of late and would only be worth a start in deep leagues.
Shaw struck out one batter while throwing a scoreless inning in Monday's victory over the White Sox. After his latest outing, Shaw's ERA continued to fall and is now at 5.21 for the 2016 campaign. The bulk of that damage came from a three game span where he gave up nine runs in just 2.1 innings. In the 17 games (15.2 innings) following, he's posted a 1.15 ERA and 0.89 WHIP. His steady improvement is promising, as Shaw is coming off his second straight season with an ERA below 3.00.
Shaw pitched a shutout inning while striking out two against Detroit on Friday. Shaw self-combusted twice this season which has led to a bloated 14.29 ERA through 5.2 innings of action. Besides those two outings, the right-hander has faired quite well, allowing two hits while striking out six in 4.1 scoreless innings. If Shaw can limit the home runs, he should be able to settle down and become a more reliable reliever, especially with a great strikeout rate early on this season.