Cleveland Guardians Need #2: Bullpen
There’s a strong chance that the only member of the current bullpen that is locked into a role for the 2022 season is Emmanuel Clase. Clase has been nothing short of dominant and could be in the American League Rookie of the Year conversation. His 1.31 ERA and 24 saves have been a high point for the club. However, beyond him there’s just a lot of question marks.
Nick Wittgren and Nick Sandlin have shown promising signs this year, but Wittgren’s inconsistency and Sandlin’s injury raise concerns for 2022 and what they can be counted on to do. James Karinchak at the beginning of the season seemed like a great one-two punch with Clase, but his struggles have changed those thoughts.
That leaves pitchers like Trevor Stephen, Sam Hentges and Logan Allen as part of the youth movement that could have undefined roles in the bullpen entering Spring Training. There’s also Bryan Shaw and Blake Parker, but odds are they hopefully won’t be on the squad come March.
There’s the chance that there are other arms in the organization, like Justin Garza or maybe Anthony Gose, but adding solid veteran arms to the pen will be a must this offseason. Reliable bullpen arms are oftentimes hard to find in-house, so exploring external solutions in free agency will be advised for the club.