Bibee’s talent, grit are indicators of a bright future

Bibee has had an impressive rookie season. Including his latest outing, he’s thrown at least five innings and allowed three or fewer runs in 21 of his 23 starts. That is tied for the most in MLB history to start a career with Aaron Sele (1993-94) and Gerrit Cole (2013-14). His 3.05 ERA ranks fourth (minimum 15 games started), and his 129 strikeouts rank fifth in franchise history through 23 career games.

The Guardians have gotten a good preview of what to expect from the 24-year-old righty moving forward. Now, they have to spend the last few weeks trying to make sure he’s not overworked. His 145 innings pitched between the Minors and Majors this season is already a career high. It’s the biggest reason why he wasn’t sent back to the mound for the sixth inning on Tuesday after throwing 87 pitches.

“He was at close to 90,” Francona said. “It was hard. Asking him to go back out, man, I’m having a hard time with that.”

Everything else with Bibee has come easily. He’s had stretches when he’s looked like an AL Rookie of the Year candidate. He’s shown growth from outing to outing. And with a rotation that lost each of its starters on Opening Day for at least some portion of the season, he has stepped up to lead the way.

The playoffs are quickly getting out of reach, but the Guardians have plenty to learn in the final weeks of the regular season. And Bibee is giving them more than enough reasons to be excited for 2024.