Guardians' margin for error continues to shrink
Not that the Guardians had a large margin for error to begin with, but it keeps on getting smaller as the season progresses. Cleveland has not lived up to expectations for the most part this season and that led to the team opting to trade away major league talent at the deadline.
The team has been Triston McKenzie for the majority of the season and an ill-timed injury to Shane Bieber resulted in the Guardians not being able to move him at the deadline. Cleveland has used three rookies (Gavin Williams, Tanner Bibee, Logan Allen) in their starting rotation for more starts than initially anticipated, with a fourth (Xzavion Curry) recently joining the others and Noah Syndergaard.
A recent injury to Josh Naylor with a potential return timline of 3-6 weeks is also not helping matters. The older Naylor has been the most impactful bat for the Guardians this season outside of Jose Ramirez. If Naylor ends up being on the longer end of the spectrum for his return, there is a very real chance that the Guardians end up shutting him down for the remainder of the season should they find themselves out of contention. This logic also applies to Bieber and McKenzie as there would be no reason to have them return if the postseason is truly out of the picture.
There is one more thing, and it has been touched on already in the previous slide. Jose Ramirez's showdown with Tim Anderson. At some point, the league is going to hand out suspensions and if the one given to Ramirez has any substantial length, it could be lights out for the Guardians. Their chances are already incredibly slim with Ramirez, being without him makes them non-existent.