Cleveland Guardians rookie Tanner Bibee was placed on the injured list Monday with hip inflammation, ending a season in which he established himself as a frontline starter while leading a staff decimated by injuries.
Bibee was forced to leave his start on Saturday night against Texas after 5⅓ innings with what the team called tightness in his hip.
The 24-year-old did not travel with the Guardians on their trip to Kansas City, staying back to receive treatment. Bibee said goodbye to several teammates and coaches in the clubhouse Sunday following Cleveland’s win over the Rangers.
With the Guardians trailing AL Central-leading Minnesota by seven games with 12 remaining, it makes sense for Cleveland to start planning ahead for next season and getting Bibee healthy is a priority.
To take Bibee’s roster spot, the team recalled reliever James Karinchak from Triple-A Columbus. The Guardians had to count on Bibee this season and the right-hander delivered.
With ace Shane Bieber, Triston McKenzie and Cal Quantrill out for extended periods with injuries, Bibee stepped up and became the team’s No. 1 starter by default. He finished 10-4 with a 2.98 ERA in 25 starts, striking out 141 in 142 innings.
Bibee’s emergence comes at a good time for the Guardians. Cleveland considered trading Bieber before he got hurt, and his long-term future with the team remains uncertain. McKenzie seems to have avoided major elbow surgery, but the right-hander has been slowed by injuries for several seasons.
Bibee will likely receive AL Rookie of the Year consideration as one of the front-runners with Baltimore shortstop Gunnar Henderson and Texas third baseman Josh Jung.