Shane Bieber's rapid rise has reached its biggest stage.
Cleveland will tap its third-ranked prospect Bieber for his Major League debut to make a spot start Thursday, in a move first reported by MLB.com's William Boor and confirmed by Tribe manager Terry Francona. The promotion marks Bieber's third level this year after the right-hander's dominant start with Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus.
Bieber heads to the big leagues on his best note of the year, having tossed a rain-shortened no-hitter in his last start Friday night for Columbus. The 2016 fourth-round pick faced the minimum over seven innings, allowing only one baserunner en route to his fifth win of the season between his two stops.
"I was kind of able to have [the rain] in the back of my head and it was just that much more important to get ahead early in the count," baseball's No. 100 overall prospect said after his historic outing. "Fortunately, I was able to do that and try and combat that weather by just getting ahead and being aggressive early. Things ended up panning out."
Bieber's numbers through 10 starts this season have been eye-popping, especially in command. The UC Santa Barbara product struck out 61 batters while issuing just three walks, all of which came in back-to-back starts on April 28 for Akron and May 3 for Columbus. Between five starts at each of the two levels, Bieber amassed a 5-1 record. with a 1.10 ERA. He allowed just eight earned runs (10 total) on 43 hits in 65 1/3 innings. Opponents have batted a paltry .183 against him while Bieber's WHIP stands at 0.70.
"Consistency is a key thing and it's not an easy thing to do, but I'm starting to find that and find out what I want to be and what I want to do," he said Friday. "Going out there and being aggressive and picking my strengths and trying to fill up the zone early and then expand late is what's been going well."
Bieber and Cleveland visit Minnesota on Thursday and he will face a Twins offense that stands fourth-from-last in the American League with a .236 team average.