The Cleveland Guardians have shaken up their roster a bit since May 1.
The Cleveland Guardians are struggling. This isn’t a surprise, it’s been 13 years since Terry Francona arrived in town, and besides post-season appearances and regular-season success, the one thing fans can rely on is a slow start. Francona’s teams are notoriously slow starters. This team will be fine, we know.
That doesn’t mean you just don’t make adjustments, however. Francona has succeeded because he’s been willing to make adjustments as the season goes on, calling up, and sending down various players. Those moves are the ones that often get the Guards going.
With so many players struggling this season, it wasn’t surprising to see seven major moves from within the team transpire this season. These moves might help the squad in the long term, but they may not.
But let’s dive deep and check this out.
Looking at recent moves made by the Cleveland Guardians
The players the Cleveland Guardians sent down
The Cleveland Guardians have sent down starting pitcher Zach Plesac and outfielder Oscar Gonzalez with the hope of finding out what’s wrong with their form and getting them corrected. Gonzalez was expected to regress by people like FanGraphs, and they were right. He’s not been the same impactful hitter he was in 2022. For Plesac, his decline is so much harder to figure out, because he’s always been a solid starter for the club. Has the lack of “stuff” allowed on balls by pitchers really affected him that much?
The players who were designated for assignment
I said before that Meibrys Viloria should not have made the team out of camp, and yet he did; eating up a valuable roster spot in the process. His tenure with the club was bad, and he’s off to new pastures. As for Konnor Pilkington, he got designated for assignment in late April as the club brought up Tanner Bibee, and would later trade Pilkington for cash. While some are mad that the club only got cash for Pilkington, remember, the Guardians are done with him, and the majors knew it. You weren’t getting much back for him at that point.
The players the Cleveland Guardians called up
While guys like Bibee and Logan Allen are huge callups that may be the biggest of the season, we’re only looking at moves since May 1. That means that David Fry and Tyler Freeman’s arrival with the club is the biggest call-up so far. Fry’s got decent power and has played everywhere on the field at some point between now and his time at Northwestern State. For Freeman, he’s a career .300+ hitter in the minors and may help boost the offense with his bat, much like Steven Kwan did last year.
The player returning from injury
Lastly, Sam Hentges is back from the DL. The 26-year-old was lights out for the Guardians last year and may be able to give the team some reliability in the back of the bullpen, especially with the struggles of James Karinchack.