Isn’t Oscar Gonzalez the obvious choice to start in right field for the Cleveland Guardians?
The Cleveland Guardians, shockingly, don’t have many holes. They filled their gaping one at first by signing slugger Josh Bell, and the team added significant power in short-term catching option Mike Zunino. The team also has a host of young prospects who either got a taste of the bigs last year or are set to debut within the next 6-16 months.
Sure, the team may want another starting pitcher, and who doesn’t need bullpen depth, but the only other major question mark the team has is right field. The team has talent for the position, but no clear starter. This leads us to an old adage in football; “if you have two starters at quarterback, you have none”.
The idea is that if both guys are playing as well as one another, there is no clear starter. For the Guardians, we thought that wasn’t the case. We thought Oscar Gonzalez was the obvious go-to guy but apparently, MLB Trade Rumors doesn’t think so, and they may have a point.
The Cleveland Guardians have a host of young outfielders to consider
So the question about who starts in right will really come down to what the team needs. Right now Gonzalez is the best all-around option and has 30-home run power. He should be the default option heading into the season but if he can’t or doesn’t find his swing, what other options does the team have in-house?
Well, if you’re looking for power, George Valera and Will Benson have shown to have at least 20-home run power in the minors. Benson struggled in the Majors last year in limited action, as did Valera in Columbus.
The outfield already has enough contact hitters, but if the team needs a guy to hit first or second in the lineup, both Will Brennan and Richie Palacios could fill in. Brennan looked fantastic in his limited outings with the big league club in 2022, while Palacios wasn’t great but could’ve been much worse.
Gonzalez should get the first crack, and barring moving someone like Josh Naylor back to right field or landing a trade for someone, Gonzalez will likely start the season in right. The Guardians are deep at the position, however, and there may be a lot more competition there than we thought.