Cleveland Guardians receive bad news on Steven Kwan's injury

Chicago White Sox v Cleveland Guardians
Chicago White Sox v Cleveland Guardians / Mike Lawrie/GettyImages

The Cleveland Guardians will not have the services of outfielder Steven Kwan available to them any time soon. Cleveland's leadoff hitter and starting left fielder is expected to miss about four weeks with an acute left hamstring strain, according to reports. This is a massive blow to a Guardians team that has gotten off to an impressive 22-12 start.

Kwan exited Saturday's win over the Los Angeles Angels early in the contest and did not return. The 26-year-old underwent an MRI on Sunday, which revealed the injury will sideline him for about a month. The Guardians have since placed Kwan on the injured list while calling up Kyle Manzardo to help make up for the offense that will be lost in his absence.

The third-year outfielder came out of the gates running, compiling a .353/.407/.496 slash line with six doubles, three home runs, and two triples while driving in 11 runs. Up until recently, Kwan was the leader in hits (47) and runs scored (28), but that no longer applies after missing most of Saturday's game and all of Sunday's. However, Kwan's batting average still holds the top spot in the American League. 

With Kwan out of action, Cleveland's outfield mix becomes a bit murky. Tyler Freeman and Will Brennan have been serviceable at best, while Estevan Florial has the occasional home run mixed in with a ton of strikeouts. Kwan's injury could provide an extended opportunity for Ramon Laureano to find his footing with extended playing time, as he has struggled to start the year, providing very little offensive output. Even Gabriel Arias could see some more time in the outfield in an attempt to get his bat in the lineup on a regular basis, while Brayan Rocchio continues to start at shortstop. 

If there is any sort of bright side here, it is that Kwan is only expected to miss around four weeks. While that is not ideal, it could have been much worse, all things considered. The Guardians are a good enough team that they should be able to stay afloat while Kwan is on the IL, and he will be back in the lineup to help their quest to take the American League Central crown in no time.