Slowly, but surely the Cleveland Guardians are making their way up MLB Power Rankings lists. It was not that long ago that most outlets would have Cleveland ranked towards the bottom and for good reason. The team was struggling offensively and it was hard to justify a second/third place team being any higher than the bottom grouping of teams. Even after all of their struggles and where they were, the Guardians now find themselves inside the Top-20 of The Athletic's MLB Power Rankings. Moving up from their previous rank of 22 and now checking in at 19 is Cleveland.
"José Ramírez? Check. Shane Bieber? Yeah. Andrés Giménez? Him too. All of them all-stars. The Guardians’ best chance at a first-timer might be lefty Logan Allen or rotation-mate Tanner Bibee, a pair of promising, rookie pitchers in Cleveland. Take your pick. Both of them are just 24, more proof of a Guardians’ pitching development program that churns them out. They are part of the core of a staff that has allowed the eighth-fewest runs in the majors this season. (Bummer that the lineup has scored the fourth-fewest.) There’s a whole bunch of good pitching competition in the AL, but the Guardians ably nominate their pair of youngsters. "- Nick Groke on the Cleveland Guardians.
Most of the focus here is on the pitching and rightfully so. This rookie pitching duo has played a very large role in preventing the Guardians pitching rotation from bottoming out while Triston McKenzie and Aaron Civale were on the injured list. There is also a very good chance that both are up for Rookie of the Year at season's end.
The Guardians lack of run-scoring is mentioned and that is clearly an issue. Something that should have been mentioned however is how Cleveland's offense ranked this past week. Hint, it's pretty good.
It is just one week and any skepticism about whether they can keep this up is valid. But if they are able to continue their hot run at the plate and turn a small sample into a large sample, those early season results matter a whole lot less.