Guardians place two on injured list ahead of series with White Sox

Cleveland Guardians v Chicago White Sox
Cleveland Guardians v Chicago White Sox / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

The Cleveland Guardians are going to be without two players when they begin their upcoming three-game series at home against the Chicago White Sox. Cleveland has placed both Josh Naylor (oblique strain) and Tyler Freeman (shoulder strain) on the injured list. Naylor's placement is retroactive to August 1st while Freeman's is to August 2nd. Taking their roster spots are Jose Tena and Kole Calhoun. The former being called up from Triple-A Columbus and the latter being acquired for cash from the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The IL Bound

Josh Naylor has been the best player on the Guardians not named Jose Ramirez this season. Naylor leads the team in batting average (.308) and runs batted in (79) while being second in home runs (15) and third in doubles (25). Losing a bat the caliber of Naylor's when they are currently fighting to remain relevant in the division is incredibly bad timing.

Naylor is expected to miss 3-6 weeks but will be reevaluated weekly. If the Guardians are out of the running for postseason play by the time Naylor is set to return, it would not be a surprise to see him be shut down for the remainder of the year.

Tyler Freeman has mostly been in a bench role this season but a path was opened towards more consistent playing with the team trading Amed Rosario to the Dodgers. Freeman has eight hits in 26 at-bats, all singles, since the beginning of July. Upon his return, he should get a decent amount of playing time as the Guardians are giving the kids a chance to play.

Taking their place

Jose Tena has spent all but one game with the Akron RubberDucks this season. In those 81 games, Tena has a .260/.353/.370 slash line with 20 doubles, four home runs, and one triple while driving in 37 runs and stealing 16 bases. It would be Tena's major league debut should he actually see the field.

Kole Calhoun comes to Cleveland via Los Angeles for cash. Calhoun has been part of three different organizations on minor league contracts this season (Mariners, Yankees, Dodgers). The 35-year-old outfielder opted out from his deal with Seattle, was released by New York, and has now been traded by Los Angeles. Calhoun has appeared in 58 minor league games this season, slashing .297/.376/.530 with 17 doubles, nine home runs, and five triples in 266 plate appearances. It would be Calhoun's first major league action of 2023 if he makes an appearance for the Guardians.