The Cleveland Guardians have called up pitcher Peyton Battenfield from Triple-A Columbus, adding him to the fold after using seven pitchers in Sunday’s 12-inning win over the Seattle Mariners. Cleveland has also placed Aaron Civale on the 15-day injured list with a left oblique strain.
In other pitching injury news, Triston McKenzie will be moved to the 60-day IL to open up a roster spot for Battenfield, though he can return as soon as May 29. Cleveland has now lost two starters to injury in just ten games.
Battenfield was a ninth-round pick of the Houston Astros in the 2019 MLB draft after two seasons as a starter and reliever for Oklahoma State. In January of 2020, he, along with Cal Stevenson, was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for Austin Pruitt. Though he didn’t play in 2020 because the minor-league season was canceled due to the pandemic, he earned a promotion in 2021 to Double-A. Then in July of 2021, he was traded to Cleveland for Jordan Luplow and D.J. Johnson.
Battenfield climbed up the ladder to become the 19th-ranked prospect in the Guardians organization last year. He had a fairly commendable year with Columbus in 2022, starting 28 games and finishing with a 3.63 ERA and striking out 109 batters through 153.2 innings pitched. But his WHIP and batting average against rose from 2021, preventing a call-up, though he was named Cleveland’s COVID-19 replacement player at the end of last season.
He was a candidate to make the team out of spring training, but was in one of the final rounds of cuts before Cleveland broke camp. In his only game with the Clippers this season, he went five innings, allowing two runs, three hits and a walk while striking out three. If he ultimately pitchces, he will become the second player this season to make his major-league debut after Tim Herrin debuted in Seattle earlier this month.
Civale cruised through four terrific innings to start Cleveland’s home opener on Friday against the Mariners, but faltered in the fifth inning and ended up allowing three runs through 5.2 innings. This is Civale’s seventh trip to the injured list since August of 2018 and the fourth since he made his major-league debut. Battenfield will likely slide in to Civale’s spot in the rotation as the third starter behind Shane Bieber and Hunter Gaddis, which would make him a probable starter for Cleveland’s third game against the New York Yankees on Wednesday.