3 biggest surprises from 2022 Cleveland Guardians Opening Day roster

Cleveland Guardians (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Guardians (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Guardians
Cleveland Guardians (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

1. Cleveland Guardians OF prospect Steven Kwan makes cut

Doubtful the casual fan knows Steven Kwan, but for those following the club, Kwan’s name come up a lot when talking about potential outfield options.

The Oklahoma State product is batting .429 this spring and has earned a spot on the roster, especially given Oscar Mercado and Bradley Zimmer made the club as well.

Mercado and Zimmer are out of options, and this could be the last chance for the pair. Zimmer has been terrible this spring registering 15 strikeouts in 29 plate appearances (through April 4). Mercado is batting just .226, but has hit for a little power, adding a home run, two doubles an a triple.

The expectation is that Kwan is keeping a seat warm for Josh Naylor, who will start the season on the 10-day Injured List.

At this point, I don’t think fans care how it shakes out. If Zimmer and Mercado struggle out of the gate and the rookie hits, then keep the prospect.

Ideally, Zimmer/Mercado experience what Tyler Naquin did a season ago. After Cleveland gave up on him–and they absolutely should have–Naquin went on to hit 19 homers and drive in 70 runs for the Reds in 123 games.