Cleveland Guardians news: Prospects Daniel Espino, Chase DeLauter out for extended time due to injuries

Akron RubberDucks pitcher Daniel Espino warms up between innings against the Erie SeaWolves at UPMC
Akron RubberDucks pitcher Daniel Espino warms up between innings against the Erie SeaWolves at UPMC / GREG WOHLFORD/ERIE TIMES-NEWS / USA

The Cleveland Guardians' No. 1 and No. 7 prospects will be recovering from long-term injuries throughout the 2023 season. Daniel Espino, the flame-throwing starting pitcher who ended last season with Double-A Akron, will be shut down for at least eight weeks. In January, he learned that he has a subscapularis strain and an anterior capsule tear in his right shoulder. 

The former 24th overall pick of Cleveland in the 2019 MLB draft was already shut down in May of 2021 with patellar tendinitis. While he was recovering from that injury, it was also revealed that he was dealing with a shoulder injury that effectively ended his 2021 season before it began. Espino, according to Mandy Bell of, didn’t get back to the rubber that offseason as he continued to experience soreness and swelling. He played in just four games with the RubberDucks last year, finishing 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA, striking out 35 batters and allowing four walks.

Espino has recently cracked MLB’s top 100 prospects list, coming off a 2021 season that started with him tossing a combined ERA of 2.73 between Single-A Lynchburg and High-A Lake County while striking out 152 batters in 91 2/3 innings. His fastball has topped out around 100 mph, and he also flashes a 60-graded slider and 55-graded curveball, according to FanGraphs.

DeLauter has yet to record a professional statistic. After getting drafted by the Guardians last July as the 16th overall pick in the draft, the James Madison product was primed to begin his career with the Cleveland organization, beginning as its No. 7 overall prospect. Then, DeLauter aggravated a foot injury that he suffered in college. He underwent surgery to repair a fracture in his foot that will sideline him for four to five months. DeLauter was limited to just 469 plate appearances in college from 2020-22 due to the pandemic and injuries.

Cleveland is practicing in Goodyear, Arizona right now and will begin spring training games this Saturday with a 3:05 first pitch against the Cincinnati Reds.