The Guardians sent hot-hitting shortstop Gabriel Arias down to Triple-A Columbus this week, so let’s try to make sense of the move.
Cleveland Guardians shortstop prospect Gabriel Arias has been one of the best players in camp this spring, both offensively and defensively – and now he’s on his way to Triple-A Columbus.
Arias, 22, was optioned to the minors Monday after notching eight hits in his first 14 at-bats of spring training, which also included a double and three RBIs. It’s a small sample size to be sure, but there’s no denying that Arias was off to a scorching start at the plate – and in the field too.
It was enough to wonder if Arias could possibly break camp with the major-league team, especially with the rosters expanding to 28 players through April. But that wasn’t to be, and Cleveland’s ongoing glut of middle infielders was no doubt the culprit, probably more so than any potential service time manipulation.
Right now, Amed Rosario figures to get the bulk of playing time at shortstop while seeing some time in left field. That opens up Andrés Giménez for more time at shortstop; the 23-year-old has been off to a hot start himself, hitting .417/.500/.583 with a triple and three RBIs in his first twelve at-bats.
As for second base, that’s an even bigger mess at the moment, with Giménez, Ernie Clement, Yu Chang, and Owen Miller all jockeying for playing time – and all of whom are off to hot starts of their own. It would appear that no matter what Arias did, he would be starting the season down in Columbus.
It’s a frustrating move by the Guardians, but this is the hand they dealt themselves by not being able to move any talent in a trade this offseason. The team was unable to alleviate its congestion at second base and shortstop and must now find a way to let it all sort itself out on the field. The good news at least is that it seems everyone is certainly up to the challenge to this point.
Arias’s time will no doubt be coming this season; he and the rest of the team’s fans are just going to have to be patient a little while longer.