Cleveland Guardians: Best and worst of April

Minnesota Twins v Cleveland Guardians
Minnesota Twins v Cleveland Guardians / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages
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April's Worst for the Cleveland Guardians: Disappointing production from the other outfielders

Pretty much everyone knew that Steven Kwan would bounce back in 2024 and be a reliable source of production at the top of the Cleveland Guardians' lineup. That is not the problem here. The problem is that the rest of Cleveland's outfield group has been incredibly underwhelming through the season's first month. 

Tyler Freeman: 17-83 .205/.302/.361, four doubles, three home runs, 12 RBI, three stolen bases, 18 strikeouts

Will Brennan: 16-75 .213/.268/.387, four doubles, three home runs, 10 RBI, two stolen bases, 13 strikeouts

Estevan Florial: 11-48 .229/.327/.500, three home runs, two doubles, one triple, nine RBI, one stolen base, 22 strikeouts

Ramon Laureano: 8-52 .154/.297/.212, three doubles, three RBI, three stolen bases, 22 strikeouts

There is not a whole lot to like here. Tyler Freeman and Will Brennan are basically everyday players, and their production has been very average from an OPS+ standpoint (93 and 89, respectively). A team can live with this mark from two players in a complimentary role, as there are others in the lineup that are depended on to contribute much more than that on a daily basis (Kwan, Jose Ramirez, Josh Naylor, Andres Gimenez). An improvement in production is needed and likely on the way with these two, but they will need to make that happen if they do not want to lose time to a potential prospect call-up later in the year.

Estevan Florial barely qualifies as an outfielder, as most of his time has come as Cleveland's designated hitter. With that being said, the flier Cleveland took on Florial is not paying off in the manner they would have hoped for. Yes, Florial is carrying a 137 OPS+ at the moment, but that is a number that seems destined to crater soon. The former Yankees prospect swings and misses so frequently that it makes it incredibly difficult for his roster spot to be guaranteed much longer. It would be one thing if he was near or at the top in home runs or doubles, but his totals in these areas are very underwhelming. Florial's home run in Tuesday's loss to Houston may have bought him a little more time, but his tenure with the Guardians definitely has an end date that will be approaching soon.

Concerning Ramon Laureano, things are not great right now. Laureano is striking out way too much and not doing much of anything at the plate. Even though people want to cast Laureano aside instead of the aforementioned Florial, that is unlikely to happen any time soon. This would be due to the imminent call-up of Kyle Manzardo, who is going to split time with Josh Naylor at first base and the designated hitter spot. With Laureano's defensive and base-running abilities, combined with the need for a reserve outfielder, it would be Florial who would be on the bubble in this situation. If Laureano is not able to turn things around later in the year, it would be his turn to be sent packing in favor of a different outfield option, possibly the highly regarded Chase DeLauter. But until that time, expect Laureano to remain a regular despite his struggles with a bat in his hand, while Florial could be on his way out, and rightfully so.