Cleveland Guardians 40 Game Mark: 2023 Season Review

May 16, 2023

Todd Hall

The Guardians are 40 games into the season, basically the season’s quarter pole.   Let’s do a reset and review of what has been good and not so good so far in the 2023 campaign. 

3 things that have been positives for the Guardians in the 2023 season:

1 – Young guns

The Guardians have been battling injuries in the starting rotation with Triston McKenzie and Aaron Civale, and throw in the struggles of Zach Plesac, and all Guardians fans had to wonder if Cleveland could survive without three veteran starters.  And they have survived as they are only 2 games under .500, and the big reason is the young starting staff of Logan Allen, Tanner Bibee, and Peyton Battenfield. 

2 – Jose Ramirez 

JRAM brings a lot of stability to the lineup and to the clubhouse.  He’s not having a huge season numbers-wise, but he is consistent and always plays the game correctly.  

3 – Stolen bases and strikeouts

From game one, Cleveland is stealing bases, and when they win, usually, Guards are flying all over the bases as they are second in all of baseball in total stolen bases.  Like in 2022, the Guardians are also not striking out, as they have the second-fewest strikeouts.

3 things that are concerns for the 2023 Guardians:

1 – Catcher 

I never like to point out a player in the first half of the season for struggles, but I have no choice with catcher Mike Zunino.  Zunino is having a difficult time behind the plate, costing the team runs with numerous passed balls.  His hitting is no better, only batting .173, and his WAR is at -.8.  The Guards are going to have to make a move for a catcher or bring up Bo Naylor.  

2 – Hitting outage 

Yes, it is unsurprising that the Guardians are currently last in home runs, as they are not a power-hitting club.  But it is surprising that the Guards are last in overall hits.  Last season, Cleveland finished 6th in hits.  They have to start getting on base more, or they will never be able to get above .500.

3 – Struggles against Southpaws

Cleveland is having a hard time when they are facing a left-handed starting pitcher.  They did better this past weekend against the Angels, but it is now a legitimate process to see if the Guardians are facing a lefty, and if they do, plan for a day of struggles getting on base. 

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