Guardians Send Top Prospect to Minors Ahead of Opening Day

The Cleveland Guardians make the surprising decision of reassigning one of their top prospects to the minors.

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

As opening day fast approaches, teams around the league are making their final roster decisions. This includes the Cleveland Guardians, who are trying to take a step forward this season and avoid another losing record.

One of the most intriguing roster questions for the Guardians during Spring Training was at first base. Kyle Manzardo, the top prospect acquired from the Rays in the Aaron Civale trade last season, was expected to at least split time between first base and designated hitter with Josh Naylor.

Instead, he will start the season in Triple-A Columbus, according to Mandy Bell of

Guardians Reassign Top Prospect to Minors Ahead of Opening Day

This comes as a surprise as Manzardo is considered one of the best hitters on the team. He showed this in the spring, hitting .381/.458/.476 in 29 plate appearances in 13 games. He had 8 hits and 2RBIs.

Last season, he appeared in 21 games for Columbus and hit .256 while slugging .590 and posting a .938 OPS with six home runs in 78 at-bats.

All these numbers suggest that Manzardo deserved a roster spot and an opportunity to compete with Naylor to begin the season. It looks like it will be Deyvison De Los Santos instead who will be the primary backup to Naylor at first base.

The 23-year-old Manzardo was a second-round pick by the Rays in the 2021 MLB Draft. currently has him as the No. 59 prospect in Major League Baseball, as well as the No. 2 prospect on the team.

With the MLB season upon us, there is no better time to sign up for FanDuel Sportsbook using the exclusive Factory of Sadness link below. Register now and get $200 in bonus bets when your first wager wins.

More Guardians news and rumors:


21+ and present in OH. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER