Cleveland Guardians: Deyvison De Los Santos experiment was worth trying

Los Angeles Dodgers v Cleveland Guardians
Los Angeles Dodgers v Cleveland Guardians / John E. Moore III/GettyImages

When a team finishes with the fewest home runs in a season, it is understandable that they will attempt to rectify that by any means necessary. The Cleveland Guardians have explored a variety of options in that regard, one of which was Rule 5 Draft Pick Deyvison De Los Santos. Even though things ultimately did not work out for De Los Santos in Cleveland, this method used by the front office was worth trying.

It was always going to be a near impossible task for De Los Santos to make the Opening Day roster and stay in the majors all season long, the requirements needed for Cleveland to retain his rights and not return to the Arizona Diamondbacks. De Los Santos was not particularly impressive during Spring Training, collecting 10 hits in 44 at-bats, with one double and one home run. If the hit frequency was just a bit higher and more of them would go for extra bases, it would be a much different story. But it is not just his performance this spring that kept De Los Santos from sticking around.

De Los Santos is primarily a third baseman who has also spent some time at first base in the minors. There is an obvious problem here as both positions are currently held by Jose Ramirez and Josh Naylor, respectively. While the designated hitter spot in the lineup would have been an option, the Guardians appear to be using it to rotate in other guys off the bench to give position players a day off their feet as needed rather than have one player occupy it for most, if not all of the upcoming season.

It would have been a bold move by the Guardians if they decided to keep De Los Santos in the organization. Maybe bold is not the right word for it. Puzzling seems more appropriate, considering that there is an ideal candidate to split time at first base and designated hitter in the minors right now in Kyle Manzardo. De Los Santos and Manzardo would have been vying for playing time in the same limited spots in the lineup, and the latter of the two seems a lot more capable of facing major league pitching than the former.

There is nothing wrong with the Guardians getting an up close and personal look at someone with an intriguing skillset like De Los Santos. The 20-year-old infielder has shown his ability to hit for power in the minors, as he is coming off back-to-back 20+ home run seasons across multiple levels. The timing is just not right for De Los Santos in Cleveland right now, given the roster construction and the fact he has not played above Double-A. Perhaps Cleveland could look to reacquire De Los Santos at some point in the future, but for now, he will return to the Diamondbacks organization.