It’s been quite a week for the Guardians. First, they got snowed out for Monday and Tuesday’s games, only to go on and sweep the White Sox. Then they went to New York where they got swept and made national headlines with the ending of Saturday’s game. With such a busy week, for the better and for worse, we learned a lot about this team.
Bobby Bradley’s Days May Be Numbered
It’s been a rough go of it for Bobby Bradley. It feels like it was only yesterday that Bradley was lighting it up in Columbus and fans were screaming for the front office to call him up. But now the tables have completely shifted and fans are pleading for the front office to get him off the roster.
With Owen Miller missing part of this week due to league protocols, Bradley saw more time at first base, and it was pretty ugly. Last week, Bradley hit .125 at the plate with only one hit and five strikeouts. What makes this even worse is that he has been at the plate four times with runners in scoring position this season and he is batting .000 with three strikeouts. Yikes.
With the emergence of Owen Miller this season and Josh Naylor seeing more time at first base, it looks like it is only a matter of time before Bradley finds himself off the roster.
The Pitching Has Been Good … Not Great
I have refrained from talking about the pitching this early in the season, mainly due to most of the starters being on pitch limits due to the shortened Spring Training. But with most starters getting three to four starts at this point, some trends are starting to form.
As a team, the Guardians have an ERA of 3.13 and 94 hits over the first two weeks of the season. This ERA puts them at ninth-best in all of the majors which is encouraging to see this early in the season. The starters have lived up to fans' expectations for the most part.
Shane Bieber has an ERA of 2.25, Cal Quantrill has an ERA of 3.94, and Zach Plesac has put up an impressive 1.53 ERA with 10 strikeouts. Combining this with relievers such as Trevor Stephan and Anthony Gose who have come out of the bullpen and provided solid relief innings, there is definitely some good parts of this Guardians' pitching. But there are also some bad parts as well.
Some of the struggles are coming in areas that fans may not have seen coming. Aaron Civale has had major issues to start the season and has only been able to get through 10.1 innings with a 9.58 ERA during his first three starts. Emmanuel Clase, who just signed a shiny new contract extension, has a 7.71 ERA in only 4.2 innings of work. In order for this pitching staff to be considered great, Clase and Civale are going to need to figure it out and return to their former ways.
Andres Gimenez Is Silently Putting His Offense Together
How about a positive takeaway to wrap up this week. Andres Gimenez is quietly starting to put his offensive game together, and this could be huge for the Guardians. In the last seven days, Gimenez has five hits, three RBI, and one triple with a .417 batting average. This needs to get some more attention.
One of the biggest critiques in the Guardians' lineup is the lack of production from the back half of the order. Gimenez is showing that he could be the X-factor to this lineup if he is able to consistently produce at the plate while hitting seventh or eighth in the lineup.
It will be fun to continue to see Gimenez continue to grow at the plate. Remember, he just turned 23 last September, making him one of the youngest players in Major League Baseball right now.
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