By Jack Brennan ’24
Just a few weeks ago, the Cleveland Guardians began their second season under their new moniker. They look to follow up their success in 2022, finishing with a record of 92-70, handily winning the AL Central Division and taking the mighty Yankees to five games in the ALDS.
The 2023 team is headlined by All-Star José Ramírez, who finished 4th in MVP voting in 2022, All-Star Andrés Giménez, who, prior to the season received a seven year, hundred-million dollar contract extension, and Steven Kwan, the 2022 rookie who came 3rd in A.L. Rookie of the Year voting. The team is managed by Terry Francona, who is entering his 11th year as manager of the club, and his 23rd year as a Major League manager.
Thus far, the season has been a series of ups and downs. In their first fifteen games, they would post an A.L. Central leading record of 9-6; however, they’d stumble from there on out, losing twelve of their next seventeen games and falling behind the Twins for first in the division. Cold bats would be the main cause of the faltering as once-hot players like José Ramírez, Oscar Gonzalez, and Will Brennan would struggle at the plate, struggling to score enough runs to win games, even behind stellar pitching performances.
One of the bright spots so far has been the calling up of 24-year-old Tanner Bibee from AAA Columbus. In his two starts so far he’s 1-0 with a no-decision, tallying thirteen strikeouts in his eleven innings of work while only allowing three earned runs.
While the beginning of the season has been characterized as a disappointment by many, things may be looking up for the club as they recently won a series against the division rival Minnesota Twins and look to carry that momentum into their upcoming serieses against the red-hot Tigers, the struggling Angels, and the division rival White Sox.