CLEVELAND, Ohio – Scribbles in my Guardians notebook, including miner stuff:
1. Since coming to Cleveland under the Francisco Lindor deal, Amed Rosario has become one of my favorite players. He won me over in late spring 2021 when he was asked to play in the outfield – leaving his familiar shortstop spot. He ended up playing mostly shortstop, but his attitude is commendable. So is his restlessness. Along with his friend Jose Ramirez, Rosario runs hard at everything and plays the game with the right spirit.
2. A year ago, Rosario started slow and caught fire in mid-May. After May 11, 2021, he was a .300 hitter. He finished batting .282 (.730 OPS) with 11 HR, 57 RBI and was 13 of 13 in stolen bases. This season, he has been cold with the weather. I picked that same date of May 11, only in 2022. Since then, it’s beating .301. Overall, he’s at .270 (.660 OPS) with one home run and 16 RBIs. He’s 7 of 8 in stolen bases.
3. Rosario is a player the Guardians could possibly trade. He is only 26 years old. Andres Gimenez is the shortstop of the future. Defensively, Gimenez is the superior player. But Rosario has been solid this season in the short term, just two errors in 47 games. The analytics site’s fangraphs rank him 6th out of 12 American League starting shortstops on defense.
4. Cleveland traded Lindor and Carlos Carrasco for Rosario and Gimenez ahead of the 2021 season. Last year was a nightmare for Carrasco (1-5, 6.04 ERA and he struggled with injuries). He is 7-2 with a 3.93 ERA. A good man having a good year.
5. As for Lindor, his overall stats are correct. He’s batting .243 (.739 OPS) with 10 home runs and 49 RBIs. Lately he’s been slumping until he made four points on Friday night. It reached .282 in April. Since then, he’s been a .220 hitter. Since being traded to the Mets, he’s been a .234 (.730 OPS) hitter. He hit .258 (.750 OPS) in 2020, his final season in Cleveland. He hasn’t been the same All-Star caliber player for three years. He has nine years and $300 million left on his contract.
6. Then there’s Gimenez, 23, who looks like a young Lindor. He’s batting .309 (.865 OPS) with seven home runs and 31 RBIs. Manager Terry Francona says Gimenez just needs to stop trying to shoot the ball like Ramirez. Once Gimenez did that, he thrived. Francona also said that Gimenez is one of the few players he’s ever seen who plays second base and shortstop at a very high level. He’s an emerging star and a great deal for Cleveland, given the ages and contracts of the players involved.
7. The main reason Rosario didn’t play more outfield is because Steven Kwan claimed left field. Myles Straw patrols the center and for now, Oscar Gonzalez is right. The Guardians also love Richie Palacios in the outfield.
8. Now the lead part. Will Brennan is the current version of Kwan, an outfielder who caught the team’s attention in the minors a year ago. The 24-year-old left-handed outfielder is hitting .327 (.896 OPS) between the AA and AAA classes this season. He has five home runs and 57 RBIs in 56 games. Like Kwan, Brennan was a college player when he was drafted (Kansas State). He doesn’t hit often (32 times in 247 plate appearances).
9. Fans have heard of George Valera for several years. He’s only 21 and he’s hit some monstrous home runs at Class AA Akron. Overall, it hits .292 (.911 OPS) with 11 HR. Since May 1, he’s been knocked out on 34 points in 37 games. The left-handed hitter with the fast bat could be in Cleveland’s outfield in 2023.
10. Fans also wanted the Guardians to trade for a receiver. I doubt that will happen, at least in the long term. At Class AA Akron, Bo (Josh’s brother) Naylor is hitting .276 (.913 OPS) with six home runs and 21 RBIs. He’s 22 and was Cleveland’s 2018 first-round pick. Naylor only batted .188 at Akron in 2021, and now he’s figuring that out. He is also a good defensive receiver.
11. When you look at the stats for Naylor, Valera and all the other members of the Eastern Class AA league, consider that 10 of the 12 teams in this league are batting .237 or less. If you do well in the Eastern League in your early twenties, you’re likely to reach the majors and have some success.
12. Consider these names: Owen Miller, Cal Quantrill, Josh Naylor, Austin Hedges and Gabriel Arias. All of these players came to Cleveland from San Diego as part of the Mike Clevinger deal. But there is one more! It’s Joey Cantillo, a 22-year-old southpaw with a 3-3 record and 2.25 ERA at Akron Class AA. He struck out 71 in 48 innings!
13. For Clevinger, he has only pitched 19 innings (3.79 ERA) for the Padres this season. He missed all of 2021 with Tommy John’s elbow surgery. This season he has had knee and tricep issues. He just got off the disabled list.
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