For the past couple of seasons, we’ve covered the “state of the union” for each team in MLB on our YouTube channel. And this year, we renew that series and examine the condition of each franchise. This article is our State of the Cleveland Guardians.
MAJOR ACQUISITIONS: JOSH BELL & MIKE ZUNINO
The Cleveland Guardians weren’t the most aggressive team this offseason, but they made positive additions. Josh Bell and Mike Zunino will add a necessary component to the GuardianGuardians’ower. The Guardians were among the worst power-hitting teams in 2022, as evidenced by their low home run totals. Bell and Zunino will add power to Cleveland and maintain the positive clubhouse. These signings are extremely valuable to the Guardians’desire to win the World Series.
SIGNIFICANT INJURIES: SAM HENTGES & CODY MORRIS
For the Cleveland Guardians, pitching is essential to their success because the team lacks power. Hentges and Morris are necessary arms for the Guardians’ staff and will be called upon a lot this season. Both pitchers are on the mend and should be ready to start the season.
TOP PROSPECT: DANIEL ESPINO (RHP)
The Cleveland Guardians have developed some of the best arms in baseball. And Daniel Espino is the next arm on the list. The hard-throwing righty can reach 103 on his fastball and then wipe out the competition with a devastating slider—injuries setback Espino’s development Espino’smated arrival time in the Major Leagues. But as the player gets back on the mound, so to is his accent toward the Majors.
Scouting grades: Fastball: 80 | Curveball: 55 | Slider: 70 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 50 | Overall: 55
BOLD PREDICTION: ANDRES GIMENEZ & JOSE RAMIREZ GO 30/30
The Guardians have a dynamic infield tandem of Andres Gimenez and Jose Ramirez. Both players are capable of being offensive forces and are multi-talented. Ramirez is a perennial MVP candidate, and Gimenez has turned himself into an All-Star. Both players have good power and speed. And it’s in that belief that the bold prediction that both players are going to have a thirty home run and thirty steals season in 2023.
DIVISIONAL RANKING PREDICTION: 1ST IN AL CENTRAL
The Guardians were extremely underrated heading into the 2022 season. Many pundits believed more in the White Sox and Twins. However, by the season’s end, the Guardiseason’sged as the class of the division. Heading into the upcoming 2023 season, however, the Guardians aren’t going to surprise anyone. Cleveland has an underrated yet supremely talented roster that will be capable of holding off the competition in the American League Central.
PITCHING STAFF GRADE: B+
The pitching staff for Cleveland will be one of the better yet more underrated staff in baseball. Many pundits overlook the Guardians because they are a small market team. However, Cleveland has developed some of the best talents in baseball. Shane Bieber and Emmanuel Clase are arguably two of the top 10 pitchers in their respective baseball positions. And each and every season, it seems a new arm emerges among the upper echelon of baseball greats from Cleveland’s staff. 2023 shouldCleveland’s season in which pitching will dominate, giving the Guardians an advantage in the divisional battle.
OFFENSIVE GRADE: A
The Guardians’ offensive lineup in 2022 was consistent but lacked power. Adding Bell and Zunino brings more thump to the Guardians’ lineup, which makes them all-around better. Cleveland is in a difficult division where they must hold off some high-caliber teams, the Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox. However, the Guardians’ ability to put the bat on the ball should give Cleveland the sight advantage and place them in a position of prominence.
OFFSEASON GRADE: B-
Cleveland was a high-quality team in 2022 that was good on many levels. However, as stated, the Guardians lacked power. The only notable additions to the roster were Bell and Zunino. Both players will add some thump to the lineup. The Guardians could have added more to the roster, as some bullpen injuries will test their pitching depth. So the overall offseason was just slightly above-average.
FRANCHISE GRADE: A
The Cleveland Guardians will be a force in 2023. Much of the Guardians’ success will rely on pitching, but their offense will contribute quite a bit of success in its own right. Cleveland may not have the resources of some of the other top teams in the American League, but they have as much talent as any. 2023 will be a year in which the Guardians must prove to the world they have what it takes to win the ultimate prize, the World Series.