Guardians promote Johnathan Rodriguez, designate Ramon Laureano for assignment

Cleveland Guardians Photo Day
Cleveland Guardians Photo Day / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages

When the Cleveland Guardians take the field on Monday night against the New York Mets, there is going to be a new face in their dugout. The Guardians have promoted outfield prospect Johnathan Rodriguez to the major league roster and have designated outfielder Ramon Laureano for assignment.

Rodriguez will get his chance to make an impact in the outfield for Cleveland while the Guardians are still waiting on Steven Kwan to return from the injured list. Left field has been a revolving cast of characters since Kwan's injury, and that should be expected to continue with Rodriguez's call-up.

The 24-year-old outfielder has been impressive for the Columbus Clippers this season, slashing .276/.389/.449 with seven home runs and six doubles in 43 games. This is the type of production that that the Guardians were hoping to get out of a few players that simply have been incapable of doing it. Rodriguez's arrival should be the first of many changes the Guardians make to their outfield, as they need to do something to improve the overall production of that group outside of what Kwan has been able to provide. 

Designating Laureano for assignment is a long overdue move by Cleveland's front office. Laureano has been dreadful at the plate this season, going 10-70 with 32 strikeouts. Having a batting average below .150 and an on-base percentage below .260 was far from acceptable, making this move being of the very expected variety. There was some hope that going from a lifeless Oakland Athletics team to the Guardians last season would reenergize Laureano and result in a better performance at the plate. Unfortunately, after a 41-game sample size to the end of 2023 saw an improvement in his batting lines, they cratered this year. The only thing that kept Laureano on the roster for as long as it did was defensive and base-running ability, but that can only make up for so much while being a complete non-factor at the plate.