Guardians activate Steven Kwan from IL, designate Estevan Florial for assignment

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

After being without their leadoff hitter for a few weeks, the Cleveland Guardians will be happy to see Steven Kwan take his place atop their lineup. Kwan has been activated off the injured list and will be batting first in their matchup with the Washington Nationals. Meanwhile, Estevan Florial has been designated for assignment in a corresponding move.

Kwan was on an absolute tear before going down with a hamstring injury in early May. With a slash line of .353/.407/.496 and OPS+ of 162, Kwan was one of the primary reasons for the Cleveland Guardians' early season success. The good news for the Guardians is that they did not lose a step with Kwan out of the lineup, going 17-7 while he was on the shelf compared to 20-12 with him. Hopefully, they can keep on chugging along as they reinsert Kwan back into the top spot in the order.

Being designated for assignment was a long time coming for Florial. The 26-year-old former Yankees prospect was acquired this past offseason in a trade that sent Cody Morris to New York, hoping that a change of scenery would be beneficial to both players included in the deal. Unfortunately, the same problems that plagued Florial while with the Yankees organization continued in Cleveland, making it incredibly difficult to justify any future playing time. The injury to Kwan and the previous DFA of Ramon Laureano gave Florial a little more of an opportunity to prove himself. But he failed to produce in a manner that would keep him on the big league roster, resulting in being DFA'd himself upon Kwan's return.

The thought process behind acquiring Florial was sound, that is not the problem here. The problem is with the player the process was used on. Florial has done nothing in his career to show he is anything more than a Quad-A player at best and continued to do so during his brief time in Cleveland. In fact, the Yankees opted to go with other, very pedestrian options over Florial, including two players that were once discarded by Cleveland as not being good enough (Greg Allen, Jake Bauers). That alone should have been an indicator that this was not going to work out. The good news here is that Florial's poor play did not have a negative impact on the Guardians, as they sit atop the American League Central as the calendar gets ready to flip over to June.