Bieber leads way for Tribe's All-MLB picks

December 10th, 2020

CLEVELAND -- At this point, ’s résumé has to be running out of space.

The Tribe’s ace earned yet another honor for his remarkable 2020 season, as he was named to the All-MLB First Team rotation Wednesday night on MLB Network, joining Trevor Bauer, Yu Darvish, Jacob deGrom and Max Fried. Indians third baseman and closer were named to the All-MLB Second Team.

The selection process for the second annual All-MLB team began in November, with half of the vote coming from fans and the other half coming from a panel of experts. Fans were able to vote once every 24 hours until Nov. 13.

It’s hard to imagine an All-MLB team without the American League Cy Young Award winner. Bieber set the tone for his stellar season when he set the record for the fewest number of innings needed to reach 100 strikeouts in Major League history (62 1/3 frames), outpacing Max Scherzer’s 63-inning record set in 2018. Eight of those outings were double-digit strikeout performances, which marked the most 10-plus strikeout games in 2020.

Bieber made an even bigger statement at the end of the season, bringing home the pitching Triple Crown honors by leading all hurlers in wins (eight), strikeouts (122) and ERA (1.63). He was the first to lead all Major League pitchers in those categories since Minnesota’s Johan Santana in 2006.

The 25-year-old put a nice little bow on his spectacular season by becoming the first Indians player to ever win the AL Cy Young Award unanimously. He joined a short list of Tribe players who have won the coveted award, including Corey Kluber (2014 and '17), Cliff Lee ('08), CC Sabathia ('07) and Gaylord Perry (1972). Bieber’s 122 strikeouts through 12 starts were a club record and the sixth most in MLB history over such a span. He also recorded at least eight strikeouts in all 12 starts, which is the longest streak to start a season in Cleveland history, surpassing Bob Feller’s 1946 mark (nine starts).

Cleveland’s fourth-round Draft pick in 2016, Bieber owns a 3.32 ERA over 406 1/3 innings with 499 strikeouts in three big league seasons.

“I think Shane embodies everything we would want a Cleveland Indian to be, both in the way he competes, the way he prepares, how he leads on and off the field,” Indians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti said last week. “Our hope and belief is that Shane will be here for a long time, and we couldn't be any more excited that he will be an anchor of our rotation for the foreseeable future.”

Ramírez, who finished the 2020 season as the runner-up for the AL MVP Award, placed behind Manny Machado of the Padres for the All-MLB First Team. There’s no question Ramírez was the best bat the Tribe had all season, hitting .292 with a career-best .993 OPS, 17 homers, 46 RBIs and 16 doubles in 58 games. He had a quieter August due to a thumb injury, but then hit .366 with a 1.294 OPS, an .841 slugging percentage, 10 home runs, 24 RBIs and nine doubles in the final month of the season.

Hand went a perfect 16-for-16 in save opportunities during the regular season, leading the Majors in saves and posting a 2.05 ERA and a 1.37 FIP. He also posted a 0.77 WHIP with 11.9 strikeouts per nine innings, before the Tribe declined his option at the end of season, putting him on the free-agent market. Tampa Bay's Nick Anderson and Oakland's Liam Hendriks took home First Team honors.