Cleveland Guardians: 3 positions up for grabs this offseason
First Base for the Cleveland Guardians
Earlier this season it seemed like perhaps first base in Cleveland was solved. Bobby Bradley was called up and took the league by storm, blasting eight home runs in the month of June to the tune of a .254/.321/.634 slash line. Not too shabby for a 25-year old prospect who was known for immense power.
The problem is that Bradley hasn’t been able to sustain those numbers. A stint on the injured list paused his production, but since June concluded, Bradley has just four home runs with a slash line of .195/.311/.345.
Like we said, an injury was involved so there’s an expected dip, but regardless of reason Bradley doesn’t have first base locked up by any means. He might be the current front-runner with hopes of regaining the spark from June, but there’s definitely an open door for competition.
One player that should get into the mix is Josh Naylor. It’s hard to guess when Naylor will be able to get back into action after his injury, but when he does he should see some time at first, like he did before the injury, playing 15 games at the position in 2021.
Being that Bradley and Naylor are both left-handed batters that struggled against left-handed pitchers but hit right-handed pitchers, a platoon between the two doesn’t make sense. At least not in terms of matchups.
That’s where another player could join the mix. Yu Chang and Owen Miller have played a decent amount of time at first this year, but again, they both hit right-handed pitchers better. Miller has the best average against lefties of the four, and that’s only at .229.
The Cleveland Guardians could explore the idea of adding a cheap first baseman to play against southpaw pitchers, but even the competition to fill the other half of the platoon will be a tight race.