2. Cleveland Guardians problem: No legit clean-up hitter
Jose Ramirez is posting MVP-type numbers despite the fact that Owen Miller is hitting behind him in the order. No disrespect to Miller, who’s having a solid season, but he shouldn’t be batting cleanup.
The role was supposed to belong to Franmil Reyes, but a dreadful start to the season, followed by a trip to the IL, leave one to wonder if there’s even a spot for Reyes on the roster following the emergence of Oscar Gonzalez (By the way, yes, there is a spot for Reyes, as the Guardians aren’t just going to give up that easily).
The Guardians are swinging back the pendulum on the “three true outcomes” by emphasizing contact and putting the ball in play. Unsurprisingly, it’s made for a fun brand of baseball that’s coincided with the Guards’ hot play.
But they rank 27th in MLB with 47 home runs. The Yankees lead the pack with 100. I’m not asking the Guardians to become the Yankees, but it shouldn’t be a state secret: Someone besides Ramirez has to carry some weight.
Reyes will be given another shot when healthy. He hit two bombs Thursday night in a rehab game for Triple-A Columbus. That’s a good sign, because “it” is there. Reyes has to harness that power at the MLB level because it’s unfair to put that pressure on Oscar Gonzalez and frankly, it’s unfair to put that pressure on Miller.