Bieber allowed one hit while striking out four over four scoreless innings against the Rockies on Saturday. The right-hander has picked up where he left off last season, posting a 9:0 K:BB through nine Cactus League innings so far. Bieber turned in a 5.13 K/BB in 114.2 innings at the big-league level last season. Some out there are concerned that Bieber gets too much of the plate, but the talent is easy to see when he's on the mound and there will likely be no real workload restrictions in his sophomore campaign.
Bieber (11-5) got the win Wednesday, firing six shutout innings with nine strikeouts against two hits and two walks versus the White Sox. Bieber was sharp in this one, not allowing his first hit -- an infield single -- until two outs into the fifth inning. With the nine punchouts, the 23-year-old improved his K:BB to an impressive 118:23 over 114.2 innings of work to go along with a 4.55 ERA. Cleveland may elect to shift the rookie to the bullpen for the playoffs, but he will very much be in the mix for a rotation spot come spring training.
Bieber is listed as the Indians' probable starter for Wednesday's game against the White Sox, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports. After making his first 18 appearances with the big club as a member of the rotation, Bieber shifted to the bullpen last Friday against the Red Sox while the Indians used Trevor Bauer as an opener in the latter's return from a fractured fibula. Bauer covered 1.1 scoreless innings before giving way to Bieber, who worked 4.2 frames and gave up six runs on eight hits and two walks. The Indians initially planned to bring Bieber back into the rotation for Thursday's series opener in Kansas City, but he'll instead be moved up a day after Josh Tomlin was pushed back in the pitching schedule when he was needed out of the bullpen Sunday. Bieber's start will likely be his final one of 2018, as he's expected to transition into a long-relief role during the playoffs or get left off the Tribe's postseason roster entirely.
Bieber is expected to work as the Indians' primary pitcher out of the bullpen Friday against the Red Sox, Zack Meisel of The Athletic reports. Bieber has made all of his 18 big-league appearances thus far as a starter, but he'll try his hand at relief work this weekend while the Indians integrate Trevor Bauer (lower leg) back into the rotation. Since Bauer has been shut down since Aug. 11 and hasn't had a proper rehab assignment, he'll likely be limited to only a couple innings Friday, allowing Bieber to follow him and likely pitch the bulk of the game. Bieber could bump Josh Tomlin from the rotation next week and make one final start before the regular season ends, but manager Terry Francona hasn't elaborated on his plans for the rookie just yet.
Bieber (10-4) allowed five runs on nine hits with no walks across six innings to take the loss Sunday against the Tigers. He struck out four. Bieber allowed just a sacrifice fly through the first four frames before running into trouble in the fifth, when he gave up a run-scoring single before Jim Adduci launched a three-run home run to left. He threw an impressive 74 percent of his pitches for strikes and induced nine groundball outs, but the rough inning was enough to give him his fourth loss of the season. Bieber was coming off back-to-back quality starts and will look to get back on track this weekend against the Red Sox.