Disaster avoided as Ben Lively will pitch this weekend for the Cleveland Guardians

Cleveland Guardians v Texas Rangers
Cleveland Guardians v Texas Rangers / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages
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The Cleveland Guardians faced a potential nightmare scenario over the past few days, as starting pitcher Ben Lively left his previous start prematurely and returned to Cleveland for further testing. Things did not seem good at the time, considering that this series of events rarely ends up with a positive outcome. After it was reported that Lively would be rejoining the team in Cincinnati, there was a sense of optimism regarding his status and one that was validated ahead of the Guardians' first game against the Reds.

Manager Stephen Vogt announced that everything Lively will be fine, and he is scheduled to make his next start on Saturday when the Guardians travel to Toronto to take on the Blue Jays. This is a huge relief for Cleveland, considering the state of their starting rotation. The trajectory of the 2024 season seemed to be heading in a negative direction after the Guardians lost Shane Bieber for the season after just two starts. Lively has been able to step in and make losing Bieber hurt a lot less with his performance. With a career-best 2.59 ERA and 1.114 WHIP, Lively has put together one of the most surprising performances of the early part of the season. 

It is going to be crucial for the Guardians to be extremely careful with Lively moving forward, particularly in his next start. With having to leave his last game with upper and lower body tightness, this is something that will need to be monitored closely over his next start and a few more afterward. The Guardians cannot afford to lose Lively, considering that Bieber is out for the year, Gavin Williams is yet to throw a pitch in the majors this season, and the inconsistent starts of Carlos Carrasco. Even if that means LIvely being limited to shorter outings as they ease him back in, it is about having him available for a potential postseason run rather than running him out there and risking losing him for the rest of the year.