Guardians place Franmil Reyes on IL; Oscar Gonzalez and Richie Palacios called up
With Franmil Reyes on the IL and Yu Chang being designated for assignment, outfield prospect Oscar Gonzalez is getting his first taste of the majors.
The carousel between Cleveland and Columbus spins ever more intensely, as the Guardians have recalled outfielder Richie Palacios, along with selecting the contract of the power-hitting Oscar Gonzalez.
The moves were made for a couple of reasons. The Guardians placed designated hitter Franmil Reyes on the 10-day IL with a hamstring issue while also designating infielder Yu Chang for assignment – a move that has long been in the making – which also opens up a 40-man spot for Gonzalez. Left-hander Konnor Pilkington has also been called up from Triple-A to start Thursday in place of Aaron Civale, who was placed on the IL with a sore left glute.
Palacios has already had a couple stints in the majors this season, hitting .270/.308/.297 with two RBIs and an 81 OPS+ in 37 at-bats. As for Gonzalez, he has certainly earned his shot, as he’s picked up right where he left off in 2021, when he hit 31 homers in the minors. The difference this year is that Gonzalez has cut down on his strikeouts significantly, and the 6-foot-4, 240-pound 24-year-old is hitting .282/.308/.506 with nine home runs, eight doubles, and 33 RBIs at Triple-A Columbus.
Quite frankly, the Guardians are lucky to even be in this position with Gonzalez, as he was originally left off the team’s 40-man roster, leaving him open to becoming a Rule 5 pick. But because of the lockout, the Rule 5 draft was canceled, giving the Guardians another look at Gonzalez, which has certainly paid off so far this season.
The Guardians have been dedicated to the youth movement this season, and this is just another example to prove it. Chang was simply never going to see regular at-bats, and the Guardians have to see what they might have in Gonzalez, who certainly has tantalizing power. It’ll be vital for him, though, to cut down on his strikeouts at the major-league level to avoid the comparisons of being just a right-handed Bobby Bradley.
The Guardians are wasting no time with Gonzalez either, as he’s in the lineup Thursday night, batting sixth against the Detroit Tigers. Time to see what the kid has.