In exactly one week we’ll know how much ground the Guardians can make up against the Twins.
They’ll have come off two stretches against the Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers, hopefully with some momentum.
Recently, the team seems to have found its groove, settling into a winning rhythm.
In fact, things are going so well, the Guardians might even be “buyers” at the trade deadline.
Adding depth via trade is nice, but what about through promotion within?
Here are two guys Cleveland could look to call up from the farm:
1. Richie Palacios, OF
Cards on the table, Palacios has already been “called up” by the Guardians.
Then why is his name on this list?
Because Palacios has bounced between the majors and Triple-A several times already.
But it’s time to make his move to the majors permanent.
Richie Palacios has ice in his veins…
When’s the last time you saw a guy bunt with runners on the corners and 2 outs. Catches everyone off guard except those Guardians base runners! Caps off a huge 4 run rally for CLE.#ForTheLand #VoteGuards #Guardians pic.twitter.com/lqYX4zREjC
— Davey Berris (@DaveyBerris) June 11, 2022
The move would have to come with one additional major adjustment: keeping Franmil Reyes on the bench, even after he comes back healthy.
When Reyes plays, he’s more or less forced in the DH spot.
He’s played in right field a few times this season, but the lion’s share of his time is strictly at the plate.
That reality has limited Cleveland’s defensive versatility for much of the season.
Because whenever Reyes is the DH, everyone else has to more or less play positions they aren’t as comfortable with.
Josh Naylor, the team’s ideal DH, is forced to play first, since his bat is so important.
That slides Owen Miller to second, though his best position is first.
Then Andrés Giménez has to slot in at shortstop, which he’s more than capable of, but Amed Rosario is sent to the outfield.
That leaves no space for Palacios in the lineup, despite the fact that Palacios is far more aligned with Cleveland’s offensive philosophy than Reyes.
The Guardians have a strong hit-for-contact approach to offense, meaning the goal is to keep hits coming and keep guys on base.
And guys like Steven Kwan, Giménez, and Oscar Gonzalez are dutifully leading the way.
Reyes, on the other hand, is a power hitter; he swings for the fences.
And while it’s nice to have a power hitter in a hit-for-contact lineup, Reyes’ problem is that he isn’t hitting, period.
On the other hand, Palacios looks the part of Cleveland’s future at outfield both offensively and defensively.
And besides, who needs another power hitter when you have MVP candidate José Ramirez constantly mashing in runs?
2. Logan Allen, LHP
It’s hard to complain about Cleveland’s bullpen so far this season.
In a league where relief pitchers and closers are more important than ever, the Guardians thankfully have one of the best units in baseball.
The starters, on the other hand?
Could use a little help.
Since the start of May, Zach Plesac has a 5.18 ERA.
Shane Bieber over the same stretch — 3.28.
Aaron Civale, who hasn’t seen any action this month due to injury, has an ungodly 7.84 ERA.
Bieber’s isn’t atrocious, in fact, it’s pretty average.
But Plesac and Civale are complete leaks for this team right now.
So why not call up some help from the farm?
In AA-Akron this season, Logan Allen is 3-3 with a 3.90 ERA but holding opposing batters to a .240 average.
Further, Allen has a nice 82 strikeouts on the season.
Logan Allen also looking strong for Akron. He has fanned 5 batters after 3 innings.
— Matt Kardos (@mattkardos) June 9, 2022
He’s not the golden boy Daniel Espino or future high-end starter Gavin Williams, but Allen has the tools to succeed at the pro level.
Why not plug him in now and see how he fares compared to Civale and Plesac?
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