Despite coming into 2023 with high hopes, this season did not go as planned. Only a handful of games remain on the schedule as this disappointing campaign comes to a close. There are plenty of reasons why this team struggled this year, but it is these three moves in particular that doomed the Cleveland Guardians in 2023.
1. Not adding a real outfielder into the mix
The primary outfielders in Cleveland this year have been Steven Kwan, Myles Straw, and Will Brennan, with Kwan being the best of the three. The problem with this mix is that this is a group is that they lack home run power. This trio has totaled 11 home runs this season entering play on Thursday September 21st. To call this embarassing and unacceptable is an understatement.
The fact that the front office was comfortable coming into the season with power devoid outfield group is baffling. Granted, they did give Oscar Gonzalez a chance to build upon the end of his 2022 season, but it has become quite clear that he is not capable of being a consistent threat in the lineup.
This is a team that came into 2023 needing a power bat in the outfield and will finish 2023 needing a power bat in the outfield. Sure, there are a couple of prospects in the system who can mash, but concerns about health and whether or not their skillset translates to the major league level exist.
Adding an outfield bat who can actually hit via free agency or the trade market is an absolute necessity, as their unwillingless to do so this season contributed to the team's downfall this season.