2022 Cleveland Guardians Regular Season Thread

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FFRva

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That Jose signing found my g-spot. I don't think I've been happier as a fan since 2017
 

Criznit

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That Jose signing found my g-spot. I don't think I've been happier as a fan since 2017
The last time I felt this much real excitement was Rajai Davis's WS Game 7 homer.
 

sportscoach

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Just because you have never found a G-spot, doesnt mean you cant root for one.

And yes, my mom told me you were lost down there.
Anyone would just get lost in your mom, but that's a completely different story... adventurers think it's a dungeon... btw

Joking aside, g-spot, will always be a no for me haha
 

Wham with the Right Hand

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A few random thoughts going into this historic season.

1. Overall, Cleveland’s offense mustered a 93 wRC+, good for 19th in the league [in 2021]. The club ranked 27th in on-base percentage (.303) and 16th in slugging percentage (.407), thanks in part to José Ramírez and Franmil Reyes. No team in baseball fared worse against curveballs (.271 slugging percentage). Cleveland was no-hit on a major league-record three occasions - The Athletic, Zack Meisel

I think a wRC+ of 100 is probably not realistic, but I think the high 90's may be attainable. Last year Owen Miller hit .204 in 191 at-bats. Bobby Bradley hit .208 in 245 AB's. Oscar Mercado hit .224 in 214 AB's. Bradley Zimmer hit .227 in 299 AB's. I have to believe they will either hit better this year or be replaced by somebody better.

But they need to get better at hitting curveballs.

2. The Indians were held to three or fewer runs in 74 (46%) of their 162 games. They were 12-62 in those games.

They can't continue to score three runs or less in nearly half their games or this team will be almost unwatchable. If my math is correct the Indians were 68-20 when they scored 4 runs or more, and that's with their five-man rotation missing 54 starts. Think about that.

3. [Paul Quantrill] went 8-2 with a 3.12 ERA as a starter, including 7-1 run in 14 starts after the All-Star break in which he posted a 1.94 ERA over 88 innings. - Paul Hoynes

And that was after starting the season as a reliever. If Quantrill can pick up where he left off last year he is a legitimate Cy Young candidate. A 1.94 ERA over his last 14 starts is amazing. That's almost half a season.

The opposition hit .403 against [Sam] Hentges’ four-seam fastball and .158 against his curve.- Hoynes

[Anthony] Gose’s fastball averages 99.3 mph, while his slider averages 84.7. The opposition hit .111 against the fastball and didn’t register a hit in 31 at-bats against the slider. - Hoynes


If these two lefties can step up and pick up from where they left off last year it would be a huge boost to the bullpen. Hentges was brutally inconsistent but in eight September appearances he was only scored on once and had a 1.74 ERA with a 12/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He began the season as a starter and flopped, but I think he has Andrew Miller potential as a reliever who comes in and throws nasty hooks. He's 25 so he's no longer a prospect.

As for Gose, how do you hit an 85 mph slider when you're geared up for a 99 mph fastball? You don't. 0-for-31 is no joke. Last year Nick Wittgren had a 5.50 ERA in 60 appearances. I'd like to see Gose get those appearances this year.

4. In 34 games from Aug. 13 to Oct. 3 [Yu Chang] hit .280 (30-for-107) with a .904 OPS, seven home runs and 23 RBI.

OK, it was only 107 at-bats but this is the Yu Chang we need for the entire season. I'm hoping a light went on in those last 10-11 weeks. He seemed to be waiting on the ball and going to right center field with a lot of success, similar to Franmil Reyes when he's going good. Chang will be 27 in August and there are a boatload of promising middle infielders snapping at his heels. Still, if he can hit .280/.904 for a full season, or even .265/.800, his bat would play at first base.

5. When Triston McKenzie came back from the minor leagues, he threw harder...On fastballs 93 mph and above, McKenzie has allowed a .168 batting average and a .294 slugging percentage. On fastballs 92 mph and below, he’s allowed a .260 batting average and a .535 slugging percentage. That’s a whopping 200-plus points of slugging percentage hanging on a single mile per hour on the gun, but it fits with past research that says there’s a shelf at which fastball velocity becomes way more important, usually around 94 mph. - Eno Sarris, The Athletic

I know I'll be watching the radar gun when McKenzie toes the rubber. Although his overall numbers were unimpressive, he did have that brilliant streak of six starts where he gave up six earned runs in 39 innings for a 1.38 ERA. He had 44 K's against 5 walks. He set some kind of franchise record for the most consecutive starts pitching six or more innings and allowing two runs or less.

Then he apparently ran out of gas and got rocked his last three starts, but if he can give the G's six solid innings consistently and keep the velo up in the 93-94 range he could easily be a 14 game winner. I wonder whether he can hold up over an entire season, though.

6. Myles Straw is the club’s only sure thing in the outfield. With Cleveland, he logged a .285/.362/.377 slash line and stole 13 bases in 14 attempts in 60 games. He registered a 104 OPS+, so he was an above-average hitter, a madman on the base paths and he ranked in the 98th percentile in Statcast’s Outs Above Average metric. - The Athletic, Zack Meisel

Great to have Straw for the entire season instead of just 60 games.

7. Cleveland’s catchers contributed a 54 wRC+ this season (100 represents league-average offensive output), the worst mark of any team in baseball. In all, the group supplied a .184/.241/.331 slash line. - Zach Meisel

Unfortunately, this does not look like it's going to change much. We could have a black hole at one spot in the lineup. In 500 career at-bats Austin Hedges has a .196 BA. The only silver lining I could find (kind of) is that he hit .242 with RISP. However, 7 of his 10 home runs came with the bases empty.

A wRC+ of 54 is ridiculous. If the G's are in contention at the deadline they may have to trade a prospect for a catcher who can at least hit a little.

8. At one point, the team deployed a rotation of Quantrill, J.C. Mejía, Sam Hentges and Eli Morgan, with Quantrill and Mejía occasionally pitching on short rest. - Zach Meisel

A huge factor in the team's success will obviously be the availability of their top five starters, although Eli Morgan showed some promise. In September he shut out the Red Sox for 5.2 innings and the White Sox for 6 innings (allowing 1 hit). He also held the Yankees to 1 run in 6 innings. When he was on he was very effective. Supposedly he's showing a little more velo this spring and those 89 innings of big league experience last year will only help him.

Cody Morris was lights out in Columbus last year (1.72 ERA in 8 starts). So between Morgan and Morris I'm hoping the Guardians can do a lot better than Mejia and Hentges if we need to go to our 6th and 7th starters.

9. “The Indians are amazing when you look at the front office, Tito (Francona) and what they do with what they have in that market,” said a rival MLB executive. “They are in the top three in terms of how they are run. They are really good at what they do.” - Terry Pluto, 7/17/21

And with one of the lowest payrolls in baseball they're going to need to keep it up, especially since other teams keep stealing their front office talent.
 
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Wham with the Right Hand

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Another key to this season:

He goes out and he works his butt off. There’s not a number offensively he can put up that would surprise me. Hit over .300, drive in 100, hit 50 homers, if he does any of those, not surprising to me because of how disciplined he is, how much talent he’s got. - Austin Hedges on Franmil Reyes

Franmil had only 418 at-bats last year due to an oblique injury in mid-season, but still hit 30 home runs with 85 RBI's. He turns 27 in July, which is the age that the highest percentage of players have their best seasons. This would be a great year for him to put up some huge numbers.
 
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