The 2023 Cleveland Guardians are set for Opening Day.
The Cleveland Guardians roster for Opening Day 2023 is set. While the roster will no doubt change as the season goes on, these are the 26 names the Guardians faithful need to learn for now. The team didn’t have many if any real surprises, as the roster was basically continued over from 2022.
The biggest surprise came in the bullpen, when Hunter Gaddis, a starting pitcher in the minors, was tapped to be in the team’s bullpen. He saw limited action for the Guardians in 2022 but this will technically be his rookie season. Joining him is a fellow rookie, who is making his big-league debut, in Tim Herrin. Unlike Gaddis, Herrin has been a reliever for most of his pro career.
The other big surprises were the carrying of three catchers in Cam Gallagher and Mibrys Viloria. They’ll serve as backups to Mike Zunino. The move was apparently done to give guys like Gabriel Arias and Will Brennan more at-bat, but that just means one of the catchers won’t get as much action consistently.
Here’s the opening day roster according to Covering the Bases;
"C: Mike Zunino, Cam Gallagher, Meibrys Viloria1B/DH: Josh Naylor, Josh Bell2B: Andrés GiménezSS: Amed Rosario3B: José RamírezLF: Steven KwanCF: Myles StrawRF: Oscar GonzalezBench/Utility: Gabriel Arias, Will BrennanSP: Shane Bieber, Triston McKenzie, Cal Quantrill, Aaron Civale, Zach PlesacRP: Emmanuel Clase, Enyel De Los Santos, Hunter Gaddis, Tim Herrin, James Karinchak, Eli Morgan, Nick Sandlin, Trevor Stephan"
Three catchers are a huge surprise for the Cleveland Guardians
You could maybe talk yourself into three catchers if Cam Gallagher or Meibrys Viloria were really good at the plate, or had huge pop in their bats. But the duo is just fine. They’re former teammates with the Kansas City Royales from 2018-2020, and neither really made a huge impact during their time there.
Gallagher is the better hitter and should be the primary backup for Zunino, but he’ll likely split time with Viloria. You’d think if Viloria was better defensively, it’d make some sense, but Gallagher is a stronger defensive catcher (.991 fielding rate to .989). Gallagher does have two more errors in his career than Viloria, but he’s achieved nine errors in 1136.0 innings played, while Viloria has seven errors in just 645 and third innings played.
Gallagher should’ve been the only backup the team carried.