Cleveland Guardians: No reason to panic about Hunter Gaddis

Cleveland Guardians v Atlanta Braves
Cleveland Guardians v Atlanta Braves / Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/GettyImages

Cleveland's trip down to Atlanta for a three-game series resulted in overreactions and complete hysterics over one player in particular's performance. Hunter Gaddis. The Guardians' setup man was less than stellar on two consecutive outings, the second of which came during Sunday's 4-3 loss in extras to the Braves. Despite people trying to make Gaddis to be this year's Bryan Shaw, there is no reason to sound the alarms on the 26-year-old righty.

No one is going to argue that the last two outings from Gaddis were far from great. Guardians manager Stephen Vogt trusted Gaddis with preserving the lead in the 8th inning in two consecutive games, with the hope that the ball could be handed off to closer Emmanuel Clase to end the game in the 9th. Both occasions saw Gaddis give up the lead, resulting in the game going to extra innings and Clase not having a save opportunity. But to completely judge Gaddis on his last two outings and omit his previous appearances? That is just foolish. 

Prior to this weekend, Gaddis was yet to allow a run to score while holding 46 opposing batters to a .146/.239/.171 slash line in 12.1 innings. Opponents only tallied six hits while striking out 16 times and walking thrice against Gaddis. If a team can get performances like this out of late-inning reliever, it is going to result in wins more often than not, and that is what matters. Holding the lead and being able to turn things over to Clase in the 9th to shut the door.

Gaddis has shown he is more than capable of doing that multiple times this season, and it is more than reasonable to expect that to continue rather than believe his 2 innings pitched against the Braves at Trusit Park in Atlanta is who he truly is. When it comes to judging a player based on sample size (even a small one), it is better to go with the larger amount of data rather than the most recent smaller set that can heavily influence the opinion of a player. The volume of successful outings from Gaddis before this weekend suggests he can be a key relief arm for the Guardians moving forward, and it is better to bet on him returning to form instead of becoming the liability some have portrayed him to be.