Guardians option Logan Allen, add Spencer Howard to major league roster

San Francisco Giants v Cleveland Guardians
San Francisco Giants v Cleveland Guardians / Nick Cammett/GettyImages

The moment the Cleveland Guardians agreed to terms to acquire pitcher Spencer Howard from the San Francisco Giants, everyone knew that a move was going to be necessary in order to add him to the major league roster. That move came on Sunday morning, as left-handed pitcher Logan Allen was optioned to Triple-A Columbus to make room for Howard.

There were more than a few ways the Guardians could have approached this situation, but deciding to send Allen down was far from a surprise. Outings from Allen were mostly an exercise in frustration this season, compiling a 5.67 ERA and 1.546 WHIP while giving up 18 home runs in 87.1 innings. While Allen has somehow managed to have an 8-4 record in 2024, this is more a testament to Cleveland's improved offense rather than his ability as a pitcher.

Bringing in Howard was the second low-cost move the Guardians made this past week, as Cleveland previously agreed to terms with free-agent left-hander Matthew Boyd in a flier-type deal. Boyd is not expected to pitch until August, but Howard appears to be someone they are looking to thrust into action much sooner, considering the roster transaction that took place on Sunday. Howard may not have much to show, with a career 6.93 ERA and 1.833 in 139 major league innings pitched, but the Guardians may feel there is something they believe they can correct rather quickly to make him a much more effective pitcher. 

Cleveland's front office could be looking to have Howard eat some innings before the upcoming All-Star break in order to preserve some of the other younger arms in their rotation, this includes Allen. The second-year lefty pitched a career-high 145.1 innings in Triple-A and the majors last season and already has more than half of that in 2024. Ensuring the long-term health of their rotation over the course of the season may be the priority for the organization right now with the break in action coming up next Sunday. The urgency at which the Guardians navigate their roster immediately following the completion of the All-Star festivities will say plenty in regard to how they feel about their current group of pitchers and how aggressive they want to be in making upgrades. Whether or not anyone sent down or recently added is moved on will be a clear indicator of their trade deadline approach.