Even in their highly successful 2022 campaign, the Cleveland Guardians lacked an explosive offense.
Pitching, defense, baserunning, and “small ball” were in the team’s DNA.
Homer and power hitting?
Not so much.
Then, 2023 came along and it was the same for Guards.
He didn’t even hit for average in his first 50 games, finishing with 225, which was 28th in MLB.
They also ranked last in the league in OPS and runs scored during that span.
However, things are changing.
Parent Crimes – 2023
First 50 Games:
.225 BA (28th in MLB)
.636 OPS (last in MLB)
370 hits (29th in MLB)
173 runs (last in MLB)
After the first 50 games:
.289 BA (2nd in MLB)
.768 OPS (8th in MLB)
219 hits (2nd in MLB)
104 runs (12th in MLB)pic.twitter.com/KYb2XaojGy
— Cleveland Stats (@CLE_STATS) June 19, 2023
After the 50-game mark, it appears the Guardians’ lineup is warming up to charge for first place in the AL Central.
It’s the worst split in baseball: The best team, the Minnesota Twins, are 36-37.
At 33-38, Cleveland is just two games away.
If his attack starts to click, he has immense potential.
Their recent performance can probably be attributed to a number of bats waking up from the doldrums of their early seasons.
One of them is Andres Gimenez, who is up to a .244/.309/.378 line with five homers and seven steals after a monumentally bad start.
Another is Josh Naylor, who is definitely one of the few above-average hitters in the Guardians lineup besides Jose Ramirez.
Naylor has been red-hot lately and is up to eight home runs and 53 RBI.
If his brother Bo is as good as advertised, he has the potential to produce above-average offensive output at catcher as well.
Slowly, but surely, the Guardians’ offense is coming to the fore, and with their deep pitching and excellent bullpen, they could become truly competitive.
Guardians fans keep asking one major Bo Naylor question