Cleveland Guardians: Will Brennan and Ramón Laureano could make for potent right-field platoon

Right field remains a source of frustration for the Cleveland Guardians, but a platoon between Will Brennan and Ramón Laureano could end up working quite well.
Baltimore Orioles v Cleveland Guardians
Baltimore Orioles v Cleveland Guardians / Ron Schwane/GettyImages

The Cleveland Guardians' quiet offseason isn't what any fan wanted to see, but now we all just have to look forward and examine what the team is working with heading into the new season.

In right field, things are as muddied and confusing as ever. For 12 consecutive seasons, the Guardians have had a different Opening Day right fielder, including the likes of Will Brennan (2023), Steven Kwan (2022), Josh Naylor (2021), Domingo Santana (2020), Tyler Naquin, (2019), Lonnie Chisenhall (2018), Abraham Almonte (2017), Collin Cowgill (2016), Brandon Moss (2015), David Murphy (2014), Drew Stubbs (2013), and Shin-Soo Choo (2012).

Yikes. If you knew Brandon Moss was the Opening Day right fielder in 2015, you win the award of Greatest Cleveland Baseball Fan Ever.

Despite the constant rotation of guys in right, there's a chance that streak is broken in 2024, should Brennan find himself the Opening Day right fielder. And though he's had some decent streaks, Brennan likely isn't the long-term answer there.

The most likely scenario is that Brennan will be part of a right-field platoon with Ramón Laureano, at least to start the year. And while that might sound grim to most, if the Guardians stick to a strong-side platoon with these two, right field could actually end up being pretty productive.

Let's take a look at the career splits for both.

Brennan, a left-handed bat, in his career against right-handed pitching: 369 plate appearances, slashing .279/.314/.379 with five home runs, 20 doubles, 34 RBI, and a 90 OPS+.

Laureano, a right-handed bat, in his career against left-handed pitching: 601 plate apperances, slashing .269/.343/.448 with 16 home runs, 42 doubles, 59 RBI, and a 112 OPS+.

If you molded these two guys into one player, that's not too bad! That being said, platoons like this don't always work out the way you imagine or hope - just ask plenty of past Cleveland teams. But the Guardians can squeeze a pretty decent amount of production out of right field in this scenario, assuming both Brennan and Laureano are able to navigate what'll end up being inconsistent playing time.

In a perfect world, the Guardians would have one player in right field capable of hitting 25-30 or more home runs. Maybe that day will eventually come, though there isn't much on the horizon to suggest it's going to happen anytime soon.

A Brennan/Laureano platoon still isn't going to offer much in the way of combined power, and there are plenty of guys who will push for playing time over the course of the season - Johnathan Rodriguez, David Fry, Tyler Freeman, Deyvison De Los Santos, and George Valera are just a few names who could all see time out there. For now, though, the platoon could at least be serviceable.

This is just what the Guardians have to work with. You've seen the history of Opening Day right fielders for Cleveland - it could be worse.