Cleveland Guardians Need #3: First Base
For a split second there this season it seemed like maybe Bobby Bradley could be the answer at first base. Then, an injury combined with major league pitchers figuring out how to pitch to him derailed that confidence and we’re back to where we started.
While catchers at the plate have been notoriously bad for Cleveland this season, first base hasn’t been much better. As a position, the combined stats from the first base slot at the plate show a slash line of .208/.277/.383 with 173 strikeouts and only 23 home runs.
As for Bobby Bradley alone, he’s hit 16 home runs, but his average is flirting with the Mendoza line. To make matters worse, the next first base prospect on the Top 30 list that is a true first baseman is Jhonkensy Noel and he doesn’t have an MLB ETA until 2024.
Now, Nolan Jones will hopefully need a spot in Cleveland soon and Jose Ramirez isn’t going anywhere – again, let’s hope. There’s a chance that first base could be Jones’ best option, but struggles in Triple-A hint that he could provide more of the same as Bradley.
For this reason, a free agent bridge could be needed to help the position while not roadblocking the future. A signing here shouldn’t break the bank, but be enough to improve the offensive output for a position that is commonly one of the better pieces of an offense while also providing a veteran presence to aid the youngsters in the transition to the big leagues.