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In Cleveland, a Young Pitching Corps Grows Up Quickly


Because the veterans of the rotation are absent, Plesac said, he has looked to position players for advice. He has since learned not to worry about what he called the silly things, like his clothes or what other people are doing. During a series last month against the Mets, Plesac exited the clubhouse in a different printed button-down shirt each night, his blonde hair perfectly styled.

The de facto veteran of the three, Bieber has drawn comparisons to Francisco Lindor, the Indians shortstop, who known for his infectious personality.

“No matter where he is, he fits in with every group,” said James Harris, the director of player development for the Indians. “He comes in every day and knows exactly why and what he’s doing every day, which allowed him to work quickly through our system.”

Bieber, who was a walk-on at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has developed into the staff’s ace this season, filling the void faster than even his teammates might have expected.

“Seeing him and what his stuff entailed, I knew he had potential to do what he’s doing,” catcher Kevin Plawecki said. “Did I think it was going to happen this soon? Maybe not. but I knew it was definitely there.”

Harris said he tells all of his players that they should be the C.E.O. of their careers. For Civale, who is soft-spoken yet deliberate in his approach, that means letting him come to Harris’s team when he needs something.

“He doesn’t speak very often,” Harris said, “but, when he does, he’s going to tell you exactly what is going on with him and what he needs.”


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